You know what I love about the Frozen Northeast Ohio in the summer time?
Well other than the whole it isn’t freezing and snowing thing of course.
It is that I live in an area where various orchards and farms grow an amazing variety of veggies and fruits. And this time of year…..
It’s Strawberry season!!!
Obviously, by the picture above you can deduce what I was doing at 8am this very morning. These babies are literally right off the the strawberry plant in the very hot and muggy field.
I will admit that there has been strawberry picking going on for several weeks at Monroe’s Orchard. But I have not been able to participate. Every time I thought I might get out there something would prevent me from it.
And I was worried.
Cuz I could only find two more small bags of strawberries in the freezer. I looked all around on the shelf where I usually keep my bags of frozen fruit and that was all I say. I thought there was more but nada! And not having a boat load of strawberries in the freezer would be a very bad thing. My smoothie
obsession habit would be severely hampered if I couldn’t pull out some luscious berries and throw them in with the yogurt and other fruit. And I wouldn’t be able to indulge in my mid winter frozen fruit slushie mania.
Life as we know it might cease to exist if I didn’t get out there and pick some strawberries. You think I am kidding?
See what happens if you tell me that I cannot have a smoothie made with my own yogurt and strawberries. Or that there will be no Strawberries and Vanilla yogurt drizzled with chocolate sauce. And that Strawberry shortcake will just be a longed for memory.
I. Dare. You.
So after walking a vigorous two miles around Sunny Lake, I got back in Coco and went to Monroe’s, where the lovely strawberry row wrangler assigned me a row and gave me the low down on what to do. I get the same instructions every year but I think it is like flying on a plane, you need to be reminded of the safety instructions JUST IN CASE, even after ALL the plane flights you have taken you STILL don’t remember that you need to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others and that the bag might not inflate but the oxygen will still be flowing normally.
Hmmmm, I seem to have taken a tangent there. SO, I worked my way down my assigned row. Or is it up my assigned row. Down. No up! Oh whatever. I picked in the hot sun. Thank goodness it was breezy cuz otherwise it would NOT have been a pleasant experience. But the berries were very plentiful. And I only sampled one just to be sure that they were good.
And after one short hour…..
60 short minutes…….
I had picked……….
17 pounds of strawberries. Let that sink in.
I didn’t mean to pick that much. It didn’t look like that much in my containers. I just kept picking and thinking and all the containers filled themselves up. I knew I might be in trouble when I lifted up my fruit and staggered under the weight. One of the owners came by as I was trying to make it back to my car so that I could go and have my haul weighed. He pulled up beside me and suggested that he could take the containers back to the store for me. Was it the redness on my face that clued him in. Or the fact that I was staggering and wheezing like an asthmatic at a pollen festival? Who knows.
The fruit was waiting for me when I got to the check out and finally I had those lovelies in the car and then home in the kitchen.
And that is when I found the other strawberries that were in the freezer but not in the place where I normally keep all the frozen fruit. They were in the wire drawer where I usually keep all the nuts and things like that. The place that I didn’t check because I NEVER put frozen fruit in there. I kept pulling out bags of frozen strawberries. It was like they were multiplying before my eyes.
8 bags of frozen strawberries from last year. So I don’t feel like I am losing my mind because I thought I had more strawberries. But now I have 17 POUNDS of fresh strawberries PLUS a bunch of frozen ones. And so, I am making strawberry fruit leather with the ones from last year. And I may make a batch of strawberry/cherry jam as well since LL and I are picking cherries on Thursday. I think that sounds like a good combination.
And I think I need to go and get some vanilla ice cream……cuz we have a lot of strawberries.