While everyone knows the summer solstice is June 20th, the first full day of summer being June 21st, I, like many, count the seasons in months rather than dates. June, July, and August are summer. Fall starts in September and ends in November, and so on in three month increments. With that non fact disclosed, I am realizing that summer will be 1/3 over in a weeks time. Time for me to do a quick check and then calibrate my summer plans, making sure I don't let this too brief season pass me by.
On May 31 I posted my Summer Adventures which was supposed to be more than a wish list but rather a plan of action. Here's the abbreviated version
1. Play hooky from work
2. Pick strawberries and have a girls night feasting on the rewards (including champagne)
3. Sleep in and go to drive in movie theater
4. Box Score a Twins game
5. Kayak before dawn
What's checked off? Not a one. Yesterday and this morning though, I made a start. Strawberry picking season launched yesterday. Here is my bounty, picked, ready for cleaning and ready to be made into jam, and a few reserved for some champagne. I will freeze a few full berries as lord knows when I will get around to the girls night! This lot was just a touch over 10 pounds. I paid a couple bucks for the box so it came to a rounded $24. $2.29 per pound was the picking price, so certainly not a bargain price wise, but being able to pick the berries I wanted, and knowing these came from a farm a mile down the road from me was worth the added pennies per pound.
I wish I had a recipe for jam that didn't include the pectin that still sets up well and will can for future enjoyment in the winter. I just use the recipe on the Ball or Sure-Jell boxes. If you have a source let me know. Besides jam, some pure strawberry and some strawberry rhubarb, I'll make a pie and save some berries (and rhubarb) for DD2's favorite dump cake, probably for the 4th of July. A friend saw my Facebook post on berry picking and offered me rhubarb-all I need, so that's how I'll source that. This farm has rows and rows and yesterday was the first day of public picking. From the looks of the size and condition, there should be another two good weeks of picking and I might get out there again. If I had help, I would have picked two boxes yesterday, but hard to carry more than one back to the car, and my knees will only take so long before being a burden. It took about 40 minutes to pick this lot. Who else picks their own? If so, what are your plans for what you pick?