There are few things as old-fashioned and exciting as going to a field, harvesting something (even if you’ve never planted it), and reaping the bounty.
Such was a day last week. It is Strawberry Season in the south, and it is a favorite thing of mine! I called up a few friends and asked if they wanted to make a party out of it. :) Everything is more fun with friends, right?
I felt like Mother Hen, clucking over my chicks, making sure they didn’t wander too far in the fields, ensuring they were picking only the RED berries, not the pink ones, and please don’t eat the whole bucket I just picked! But was it ever fun. I felt like a kid again, even though I had three of my own!
There is something that feels so wonderfully old-fashioned about putting up your own goods, whether by canning or by freezing. And these strawberries weren’t even organic, and goodness how much sugar goes into making jam!!
But it was a great day, and I hope my children remember the good times like this. I love to see their wonder over God’s creation, over the earth that He created, their amazement at how things grow… See these things, and worship the Creator, my children.
Even Hudson quickly learned which ones were ripe and tasty.
It was 80 degrees, and “soooo hot!!” that they had to take a break in the shade (eating strawberries, of course).
Such precious little kidders.
Then we returned home with roughly 25 pounds of strawberries, ready to make into jams and things for the winter. And of course, several bowls set out for fresh eating and cereals and shakes and all sorts of wonderful foods.
The girls were eager helpers. There is sadness for me in that they are growing up so fast, but excitement to see them learn responsibility and housekeeping things as their mother and grandmothers for generations before them.
[never mind that food on his tray. it’s only a conglomeration of strawberries, eggs, and mixed vegetables. it’s called raidthefrig! or, i look at it as developing the palette :)]
Whoever knew that a grapefruit spoon is the best way to hull the strawberries? And it’s safer for kids than a knife (*she learned from experience*). I forget who passed on this wondrous information to me..
We couldn’t wait for dinner that night. Of course, strawberry shortcake had to be made.
I tried a new recipe, and we declared it a favorite immediately. It’s very soft and fluffy, just how I like it.
[adapted slightly from tastykitchen.com]
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1-½ cup Flour
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- ¾ teaspoons Salt
- 2-½ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ¼ cups Butter, Melted
- ¾ cups Milk
- 1 Egg
- ¼ cups Sugar, to sprinkle upon the top of the cake before baking
FOR THE STRAWBERRIES:
- 2 pounds Fresh Strawberries
- ½ cups Sugar
Wash the strawberries, and hull them. Then slice them and put them into a bowl and sprinkle 1/2 cup of sugar over top. Stir together and put strawberries in the fridge so the sugar can make a juice for the strawberries.
Heat oven to 375 F. In a mixing bowl, mix all of the cake ingredients (except the last 1/4 cup of sugar) thoroughly with a fork. Beat vigorously for 30 seconds.
Pour into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle the top with 1/4 cup sugar if desired. (yes please!) Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
To serve: cut cake into squares, or into circles (picture below) and slice in half. Layer with cake, berries, and whipped cream. Or, if you’re like my husband, put it in a bowl and cover with milk. :)
Happy lovely spring day!