Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Cooking: Strawberry Fields Forever

I absolutely love where we live. I really do. Compared to the Philadelphia suburbs where I spent my entire life, to us this area is downright rural. Sure, some of the "locals" and natives grumble about folks like us, buying homes on what was once a family farm, and the big box stores popping up in the next town. It's still - at least to me - more rural than not, and I love that I need more than one hand to count the number of farms, produce stands, and farmer's markets within a 10 minute drive of my house.

I'm not much of a gardener (the herbs probably have a 50/50 chance of surviving) so to me, you can't get much more locally-grown than a farm 10 minutes away.

Strawberries are in season here now, so Betty and I spent part of this morning deep in the patches of a nearby farm. We went strawberry-picking here last year, and these were the best strawberries I'd ever had.  Definitely not your supermarket variety in a plastic container, trucked in from the opposite coast.

We each had our own bucket.  I'm always kind of sympathetic to the misshapen, lumpy berry that might otherwise be overlooked, while Betty looks for perfection in color and shape. (We make a good team that way.)

We wound up picking 6.5 pounds of strawberries! (They were priced at $1.85 per pound.)  

Down at the small farmer's market located at the end of the patch, we were chatting with the owner when Betty piped up that we were planning to make a strawberry shortcake with our bounty.  The farmer's wife mentioned that she's been making individual layered strawberry shortcakes with her homemade cinnamon shortbread recipe, whipped cream, and strawberries.  OK, I'm sold. 
In addition to the strawberries, asparagus is also in season here.  They had the asparagus loose in a bin, fresh from the field.  If you look carefully, you can see the grittiness of the dirt layered on each stalk.


We rounded out our farm stand purchases with a few other items.

I'm thinking tonight's dinner will be Portobello Mushroom burgers with carmelized onions (I have some Vidalias) and tomatoes, maybe a little champagne mustard that I purchased at the Flower Market, asparagus, and the cinnamon shortbread strawberry shortcake.

I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

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copyright 2010, Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy, The Betty and Boo Chronicles) If you are reading this on a blog or website other than The Betty and Boo Chronicles or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.


JoAnn said...

Strawberries and asparagus... I love this time of year!!

Florinda said...

We have a farm like that not far away, but I've never gone there - I need to fix that. When I lived in upstate New York, we used to go to the you-pick farms for strawberries and blueberries every summer, and those are still the best I've had. Looks like you and Betty did pretty well!

Heather said...

Don't you just love the garden season, specially when someone else is doing all the hard work and you get to reap the harvest. We're still a bit away from berries, but will be so excited when they are ready.

Beth F said...

Nothing beats fresh-picked, sun-warmed strawberries. Heavenly.

The farmers market in my area opened last week when I was out of town -- but come Tuesday, that's where I'll be.