Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Strawberry fields forever

It was a week and a half ago that I was home with the kids and we drove out to the berry farm only to find out that the "Open" billboard they had up in town meant "Open for us to pick and sell to you", not "Open for pick your own". When I went back to face the kids, who were still in the car, with that news, Liam promptly burst into tears. He was really upset. I felt awful for having gotten him excited about the trip. I felt stupid for not having called ahead. And I promised him we could go back one day when they were open.
So yesterday morning, I called the farm to inquire about pick your own. And though it had only been ten days since our first trip out - the farmer hemmed and hawed with me, said they were open but that the season was pretty much over and that pickings were slim. So to speak.

Liam and I had just had a conversation a couple of days prior about our favourite desserts, and he listed strawberry shortcake as one of his. That, plus his disappointment at having not been able to pick berries during the first go-round, were all I needed to make the decision. I didn't care if we laboured for an hour just to fill a quart. We were going. When we got to the farm, there were several other people there picking, and I was pleasantly surprised by how easy the picking actually was. We were there for maybe 45 minutes and came home with 4 quarts. The kids were awesome berry pickers. They did a great job of only picking the ripe berries. Mallory exclaimed "Look, Mommy! I found a red one! I'm going to pick it and put it in my basket!"... with every single berry she picked. And after every two or three berries, she said, "I am a great helper Mommy, aren't I?" She was like a very cute and adorable broken record. There was an elderly woman picking in the row next to us and I'm sure that she was either blessedly deaf or else had the patience of a saint to put up with nearly an hour of that. While Mallory was napping yesterday afternoon, Liam helped me whip up a batch of strawberry shortcake (one of my most favourite desserts ever, too). We got Chad to stop at the grocery store on his way home from work to pick up some whipping cream and we cut and sugared some berries to go with it all. The kitchen smelled awesome and the dessert was fabulous.But at the last minute, Liam decided he would rather have a Freezie for dessert instead.