Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fruits of Our Labor

Why does it seem like the world has started spinning faster this summer? Here I am posting about something that happened nearly 2 weeks ago: our first trip to the strawberry patch, which was way back on June 6. I was hoping to make it back again, but I fear the season has passed us by. At least the kids and I had a good time while we could. Logan probably ate more white strawberries that he should have, but then again, he probably ate more strawberries than he should have, period. And eating them right after you have picked the berries is just about as close to Heaven as we can get, so I don't blame him. So many, many tasty things can be made with strawberries, but we managed just a few with our 5+ pounds. (And I had high hopes and dreams of becoming someone who knows how to can... Guess I will have to wait for the next season.) I am not complaining. Every bite was worth it.

{Logan was excited about the tractor-pulled wagon ride, so he didn't mind the wait.}

{So sweet! These are the Early Glow variety. Definitely getting them again!}

{One for Logan....}

{This one looks good to me.}

{Here they are actually picking berries.}

{It was a beautiful day, but I was glad we went in the morning. The sun was hot.}

{Rain boots + old clothes = good idea. I only wish they had agreed to wear hats.}

{Even though he had his own container, he kept sampling from our haul of berries.}

{Note: I don't know whose stroller that is in the background, but I don't recommend taking one with you if you are berry picking. We did that once at the apple orchard, at it's more trouble than it's worth. Just my two cents.}

{A sign of a good time: berry-stained face!}

{This strawberry jelly is easy to make and really yummy. The first jar is already gone!}

{These strawberry white chocolate muffins were ah-ma-zing! Must make them again and again and again... not overly sweet, just perfect.}

{I kind of wish that I had piped whipped cream around the outside edges. It would look so pretty, but truthfully, it tastes good, so I don't care too much about the presentation.}

Shimmering Strawberry Pie 
6 cups strawberries, halved
1 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 recipe Oil Pastry for Single-Crust Pie (or if you're like me and want simple, a ready-made graham cracker crust)

  1. Prepare Oil Pastry for Single-Crust Pie*. Prick bottom and sides of pastry generously with tines of a fork. Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until pastry is golden. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine 1 cup of strawberries and the water. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes.
  3. In a medium saucepan, stir together sugar and cornstarch; stir in berry mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Cool to room temperature.
  4. Fold remaining strawberries into cooled syrup mixture; transfer to pastry shell. Cover; chill for 3-4 hours.                                                                                                                        * Oil Pastry for Single-Crust Pie: In a medium bowl stir together 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine 1/4 cup fat-free milk and 3 tablespoons cooking oil. Add milk mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir lightly with a fork until dough forms; form into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, slightly flatten dough. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Ease pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of plate. Fold extra pastry; crimp edge as desired.

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