Smitten by Summer Strawberries . . .

Is it possible to turn into a strawberry if you eat too many of them? This week when I went to the local strawberry farm (where you can pick the most luscious strawberries in the world) I was reminded how my mom used to tease us about that when we were little. As we waited patiently to be taken back to the fields, we watched with very wide eyes as earlier pickers unloaded their buckets of huge juicy berries. One of the first people to get off the wagon was a little blonde toddler with her hands, face, and clothing covered in strawberries. She looked like a strawberry with a great big smile. (sorry, I did not have my camera with me)

Picking berries at the farm was extremely easy this year. Perfect berry weather (spelling is different ;-)) and a farmer who knows how to grow them provided us with healthy plants where the huge, juicy berries were plentiful. Filling an ice cream bucket in 10 minutes was common, even if you stopped to eat a few (or a lot more) along the way (and everyone does. It is allowed and safe – no chemicals). Getting a pail of wild raspberries or blueberries, is the exact opposite because it takes a lot of hard work and hours of picking. On the farm, the picking was so simple that I got a little bit carried away picking and came home with more heaping buckets of wonderful strawberries then I really need.

Pie (before the glaze was added)

The strawberries have been a part of my diet at every meal since. Some times just plain out of the container or on top of cereal. I have had them with homemade shortcake, in a pie, and on salads. Fresh, just picked and plain is my favorite way to eat them. Therefore, I am holding off on freezing them until I absolutely have to. Jam is on my list of things to make this week and I see a future smoothie or two. (I have given some away, too)

If you have farm fresh strawberries or raspberries, here is my idea for a great summer salad. It is my own version of a memorable salad I had at a hotel restaurant many years ago (so you may have had one that is similar). It always turns out a little bit different depending on what I have on hand .. that is what I love about salads, there is a lot of wiggle room and places to improvise in the recipe.

strawberry chicken salad

  • Start with a bed of romaine lettuce and spinach.
  • Top with fresh strawberries, cooked chicken breast, mandarin oranges, and chow mien noodles for a crunch factor. (I have also tried almond slices, freshly crumbled mozzarella cheese, a small amount of pineapple, cucumber, and raspberries are a great substitute if you don’t have strawberries.)
  • For a dressing, I always use a strawberry or raspberry vinaigrette. It is easy to make and playing with the basic recipe always makes it interesting (I have not used the poppy seeds in that recipe). (If you are in a hurry, you can purchase a good bottled one, too)
  • In the past, I have marinated the chicken in the juice from the mandarin oranges and/or some of the strawberry vinaigrette before I cooked it and sometimes I just use left over chicken.

Strawberries are wonderful … sweet, juicy and good for you. In my opinion, it is not summer without a bunch of freshly picked ones in the refrigerator … I wish the season lasted longer than just 2 weeks. Since I am eating them like crazy, I have to ask … is it possible I will turn into a strawberry? πŸ™‚

By the way, my weekly photo challenge pictures (or link on the right) are up-to-date. This week’s challenge is “old-fashioned”, might be a tough one for me a nature photographer … but, I am sure I will find something.

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~ by bearyweather on July 8, 2011.

15 Responses to “Smitten by Summer Strawberries . . .”

  1. You realize you’ve made me crave strawberries now…berries and summer go together!

  2. What an abundance of strawberries! We don’t have any strawberry plants (except wild ones which we save for the Robins), but a neighbor brought us a bunch from his garden and we have been really enjoying them; a real treat!

    • I gave up trying to grow them myself … the animals (squirrels, raccoons, deer, birds, and that darn woodchuck) beat me to them or ruin them before they have a chance to really grow. In the long run, it is cheaper and less stressful to go to the berry farm where I know they will always be plentiful, big and juicy. They are definitely a treat. I won’t be able to eat a store bought one again until next March or April when I am desperately craving the fresh ones from the farm.

  3. Hi Bearyweather, Yes, for me, more than just a handful of Strawberries will give me a mild case of hives. So, maybe it is a good thing that I am competing with my Grey Squirrels for the choice ruby-red Strawberries that are growing in pots on my deck. I can’t complain other than I have very little sunny spots so have to grow in pots or in above ground raised bed plots. Oh well! Loved your post and story. Have a truly super Sunday tomorrow!

  4. Hi Again Bearyweather, So sorry about my grammar in the above post. I will just say I am tired tonight and leave it at that : )
    Have the best day tomorrow!

    • No problem. So, how about raspberries or blueberries … can you eat them? My next berry adventure will be about 3 steps out my back door. The hill filled in naturally with wild raspberry plants right after I built my house. I have been watching all the blooms, now turning into fruit …. they are smaller and tend to get mushy faster then the tame ones, but have more flavor. I make jam out of most of them.
      Hope you got some sleep this weekend!

  5. Oooo, Bearyweather, you have me longing for tomorrow when I’ll go strawberry picking at a local field, too! Isn’t it the best time of year? And thank you for adding recipes. Will try some of them when we have quarts to eat in the upcoming week. (And many to freeze, as well.)

    • Now that I have had to put most of mine in the freezer, I am ready to go back for some more fresh ones. It seems crazy to have a freezer full and to want to go pick more … but, freshly picked are really the best. I hope your berry farm has a crop as good as my local one did … I don’t remember them being this good in years.
      Enjoy your berries …

  6. It has never occurred to me to mix chicken with strawberries, how delightful this sounds!

    • It sounded strange when I ordered it at the restaurant, but I fell in love with it. The basic, every day vegetable salad gets so old. I love the greens with the fruit … especially in the summer when i have a good supplies of berries (raspberries are good too if you don’t have strawberries)

  7. Our strawberry season is over and we’re almost through raspberry season too. I hear the green beans are starting to come in now.

    I’m pretty sure you will turn into a strawberry if you eat too many. But I think “too many” is more than anyone can eat in one season. πŸ˜€

    • I think I came pretty close to turning. The raspberries are just starting … and I am anxiously awaiting the blueberries.
      I will let you keep the green beans πŸ™‚

  8. Hi Bearyweather, As far as Edith Wharton’s quote – I want to be both! Great shots today, by the way! Have an outstanding day and coming week!

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