24 June 2009

strawberry surplus (or strawberry "slurp" us, if the jam doesn't turn out)

So true to my advice, I packed up Jules and Kasper this week and trekked halfway up to Vancouver (for those of you reading who are not from Seattle, that is FAR) to go strawberry picking.

We met a friend and her two litte girls up there, and by the time we arrived, my friend had already picked a crate-full. Her pint-sized pickers slowed down considerably when we arrived, and the kids spent most of their time running up and down the rows, racing after the tractors delivering port-a-pottys to the "commercial workers" (mostly 16 year old kids with brown butts and knees), and just shoving berries in their mouths, partly, I'm sure, to see our reaction at the red juiciness dripping down their chins. It was a cold, drizzly day and not many other pickers were out, so we had the place almost entirely to ourselves. And the berries were ripe.

Driving home, I had no idea what I planned to do with all those strawberries. It was more for the experience of bringing Jules to a farm (Kasper was less than content, and not at all impressed most of the time we were there), that I'd dragged us up there. But now I had a bajillion berries to wash, husk, slice and "enjoy." My plan was (is, still haven't done it) to make a strawberry clafouti, a kind of custardy pancake I'd seen Jacques Pepin once do with apricots. Maybe some jam.

Well, as I write this, the jam is simmering on the stove, and I'm not at all sure it'll set right since this is my first time. But what I DID get a chance to make was a nice warm spinach salad with strawberries, toasted almonds and a strawberry vinagrette that went pretty well with a box of Trader Joe's cornbread and the leftover grilled pork tenderloin we'd served up for Father's Day.

Jules helped me wash the spinach in a bowl of cold water, dry it in the salad spinner, and mix up the corn bread (from a box, but a very good box). I warmed the spinach in a pan, added it to a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, toasted almonds and sliced strawberries and there was dinner. Not bad for a Monday.

It was pretty. Here's a picture.

1 comment:

  1. This meal sounds delicious.
    I love u-pick farms with the kids. We haven't done it yet this year. We'll have to get to it soon before the season is over.


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