Sunday, June 21, 2015

Strawberry Picking

I took all the kids strawberry picking on Thursday and it was a resounding success.  For the first time, the girls were enthusiastic pickers; they probably picked about half the strawberries we brought home.  They went ahead of me in our row so that they could pick the biggest and juiciest berries ahead of me.   And they did not like it when I tried to catch up with them.

Nathaniel, on the other hand, followed along behind my basket and ate strawberries pretty much constantly.  The first time he picked his own strawberry, he put the whole berry with the leaves in his mouth, then made a face and took it out.  I showed him how to pull the leaves off, and he figured out how to pull the leaves off one at a time for all the rest that he ate.

Amelia helped Nathaniel pick just a couple berries himself, but he had a hard time getting them off, and preferred eating the ones I had already picked.  Nathaniel is always delighted when one of the girls makes the time to help him with something.

As we were leaving the farm, Nathaniel saw an old tractor sitting in the field, and since tractors are one of his three favorite things (along with trains and trucks) we had to go take a look at it.  After walking around it three times shouting "Kra-ka", he went over to the tire and gave it a hug and a kiss.

We ended up picking about 15 pounds of extremely ripe and delicious strawberries that we had to process in just a few days.  The girls helped me make three batches of strawberry jam and four strawberry coffee cakes.  They sliced and mashed the strawberries, measured the sugar, and did a lot of stirring. 

 Megan helped measure and stir the ingredients for Grandma Sylvester's strawberry coffee cake, too, and decided that she wanted to help with the kneading.  But once she got her hands on the dough, she quickly changed her mind!  Both girls helped lay all the strawberries on the dough - they crammed them in as close as the could, which meant the juice ran over the pans a little in the oven.  But oh wow, the coffee cake is delicious!

I also IQFd almost a gallon of whole strawberries for later use, and the girls helped make some strawberry yogurt popsicles that are in the freezer right now.  Plus, we had strawberry shortcake and have just enough berries left to have it again tomorrow night.

Oh, before we left to go strawberry picking, I found Nathaniel doing this:

When I told him "NO", he immediately started up his new little pouting and rubbing his eyes routine, feeling all sad and sorry for himself.  It cracks me up.

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