My mom says my siblings and I only remember the bad things about our childhoods. It’s true that we have often focused on the negative, but I also have many fond memories, particularly of summer—family camping trips in our tent and later in our pop-up trailer, car trips to Nova Scotia and, of course, strawberry picking expeditions. Hubby and I carry on those traditions with our kids because I know that they too will remember them fondly one day, and maybe think mom and dad did one or two things right. So, last week, we packed the kids kicking and screaming into the car and travelled to Spring View Farms in Uxbridge, Ontario to take advantage of the oh-so-brief strawberry season. Despite my dear son’s reluctance to make the trip, he was transformed as soon as we arrived. He enthusiastically sampled the two varieties of strawberries, proclaimed one a favourite and began filling his basket. We came home with seven litres of hand-picked chemical-free strawberries.
The question then became what to do with all of those strawberries. I was determined not to let a single one go to waste. I was also determined not to put in a huge amount of effort. I began by making simple strawberry jam in my bread maker. It takes much less sugar than regular recipes and lasts three weeks in the fridge. I went on to make strawberry sorbet in my new Hamilton Beach ice cream maker. This I served with Tal Ronnen’s delicious Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake. You might recall that he was Oprah’s chef during her 21-day vegan cleanse. You can find the recipe, which is definitely one of his easier ones, at http://www.tastebook.com/recipes/2254775-Chocolate-Chip-Peanut-Butter-Cake. Ronnen suggests pairing the cake with berry sorbet. At first I thought it was a strange combination, but my family loved the yummy peanut butter cake with the sweet sorbet. I also froze a bunch of strawberries to use for smoothies on those early mornings when we don’t quite feel like eating yet. Of course, I also left some strawberries in the fridge for plain old eatin’. Once, when I was up in my bedroom trying to get in a few moments of reading, I heard the fridge open and close about ten times, as my son grabbed one or two strawberries at a time and ate them (unwashed of course).
Next up, raspberries.