These are the first strawberries to ripen in my garden this year (2013). This is more than two weeks later than usual.
This year’s (2013) first strawberries to ripen were the latest since I planted them more than six years ago. This year, I picked my first strawberries on June 6th. Usually I start picking in mid-May and by the end of the first week of June, the strawberries are done. In the Kansas City area, we had a cold, wet winter, and it’s wet and cool now. In May, we got 8.70 inches of rain. The average is 5.41 inches.
The rain has really helped to produce lush foliage, even if all of the plants are late to develop. Our neighborhood butterfly garden is prospering. Now, all we need are butterflies!
Click here to see last year’s post, a photograph and recipe for a strawberry walnut and blue cheese salad with balsamic vinegar dressing. Fifth Annual Strawberry Photograph.
This is one of my favorite salads. I tossed together walnuts, blue cheese crumbles and some strawberries from my garden on several varieties of lettuce.
The size of the strawberries in my strawberry patch were smaller than usual this spring — probably because I didn’t water enough, and we didn’t have much rain. Remind me next April to water my strawberry patch! I did get enough strawberries to enjoy each morning with a bowl of cereal. I also like to toss strawberries in a salad, such as the one pictured above with blue cheese and walnuts. The dressing is a dash of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of vinegar, sprinkled with garlic salt. I usually use balsamic vinegar, but I was out so I used rice wine vinegar. Here’s a link to last’s year’s strawberry photo: Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt
Late May and early June bring strawberries in the Kansas City area. After the long, cold, dreary miserable winter we had, I was thrilled when the first ripe strawberries appeared in my little patch every day. This year I’ve made some changes in my diet, avoiding refined sugar in everything, so I’m satisfying my sweet tooth with more fruit. I’m very grateful for my abundant strawberry crop, even if I have to squat and stretch every day for half an hour picking through the leaves to find these tiny red jewels. It’s kind of like yoga, except my back aches when I stand up. (Ok, maybe it’s only 15 minutes a day, it just seems longer.)
Every spring, my maternal grandmother made strawberry rhubarb pies and sauces. She grew the plants in her huge garden, and my cousins and I would also find it among the grass and weeds in the old abandoned garden plot, where rhubarb and asparagus plants were all that remained. The rhubarb plants seemed eternal to me then, although I’ve never had any luck keeping any alive in my own gardens. When I saw some rhubarb for sale at a country market, I bought about ten stalks. Rhubarb isn’t palatable without sugar, though, so I’ve added some no-calorie sugar substitute, which is also a no-no, but I’m not giving that up fake sugar entirely. What is life without rhubarb?
I chopped the rhubarb, cooked it in about two cups water, cooled it and then added a cup of fresh strawberries. Then I added some fake sugar to taste. I added some of the sauce to nonfat Greek yogurt. Yummy!
Here’s what I’ve written in the past about my strawberry passion. Third Annual Strawberry Photograph
Of course, I have to link to a downer article from the New York Times about how sugar is very, very, very bad for you. Is Sugar Toxic? Below is a related video that will cause you to weep. I’ve been hearing this for years, but chose to ignore it, but now I’m trying to avoid sugar completely except in fruits and vegetables. After watching this video, it sounds as if I need to cut back on fruit, too…
Filed under Diet, Food, Health
One of my favorite meals of all time -- Cereal with strawberries from my garden!
This is one of my favorite times of year. Every day for two weeks, I pick strawberries from my strawberry patch, more than enough for a daily bowl of cereal. This year we had so much rain that the strawberry ripening was delayed for several days. Oh, the waiting was agony! But now the bliss! The mint is moving in on the strawberry plants, so the little berries sometimes have a tang of mint. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a bowl of strawberries and cereal awaiting me.
Read more in my post, Second Annual Strawberry Photograph. From there, you can click on the link to the first year’s photograph.
This is one of my favorite times of year. Every day I find these jewels in my garden. These were so fresh that they steamed up the glass. The fragrance was so much better than any perfume. Best of all, I got to eat them!
My strawberry patch has grown even larger this year. Hurrah! Here’s my post with photographs from last year, in case you missed it. Strawberry Fields.
It shouldn’t be this easy! Two years ago, I shoveled a few scoops of strawberry plants from my mother’s strawberry bed, threw them in a trash bag and then dug them the next day into my garden bed. The few grew into many, even engulfing the mint. If you can crowd out mint, you are some awesomely aggressive plant, like kudzu in the South. But who’s complaining? Not me!
Day after day in late May and early June, I pluck these sweet little rubies. Some I pick a little too early, because if I don’t pick them when I find them, the birds, chipmunks or bugs will take their portion. For some, it’s too late — they’re soggy or even shriveled. But most — as Goldilocks might have said if she were a farm laborer and not a home invader — are just ripe!
After a week, I start thinking: I’ll skip today. It does hurt the back to squat and bend so much, plus there are little creatures scattering in the leaf litter. But then I remember how fleeting is the strawberry season. I’m back on my haunches, gratefully poking through the leaves again. We’re wired to be hunter gatherers, so I get a little rush whenever I see a flash of red.
Some members of the household were a little suspicious at first of eating something that grew like a weed. These berries weren’t like the huge ones that come in a plastic box. But they were won over by the intense sweetness, and the fact that I’d already picked, washed, plucked off the leaves and presented the strawberries in a bowl.
For strawberry recipes, go to www.epicurious.com. But the best way to eat them is popping them into your mouth. Nirvana.