Yesterday, we went strawberry picking, our first time in Ohio. Long-time readers will know that strawberry picking was one of our favorite activities in South Carolina; we went religiously from the time J was an infant strapped in a baby carrier, freezing in unseasonably cold weather. And strawberries come earlier in South Carolina, in April, so we feel like we've been waiting forever for them to arrive. And arrive they finally did, early even for Cleveland but still in June (!), so we were VERY ready to go by the time we finally went this week.
Sadly, the crazy weather this winter apparently affected the strawberry crop, resulting in tiny berries. And when I say tiny, I mean TINY. These berries are about the size of the tip of my little finger. I felt I was picking them for some elfin buffet. It took hundreds of berries to fill one quart basket. It was slow, to say the least. You know who doesn't do slow so well? 2 and 4 year olds, especially those used to picking strawberries the size of their fists! The boys were good sports for about 15 minutes, then slightly disgruntled for another 15 minutes, and then totally disinterested for another 15 minutes and running amok in the fields until I finally filled the three quart baskets I decided were my limit.
Luckily, the farm had a market down the road where they sold homemade donuts with a tractor and swings outside, so we headed there to eat and play and take our minds off the strawberries fit for a fairy feast. Sadly, when we got home, they were still tiny, and I couldn't wrap my head around hulling and cutting each individual little berry, so the three quarts are still sitting in my refrigerator today. But I have big plans for them, specifically a rustic strawberry tart (no spring form pan--huzzah!), strawberry liquados (since J asked for strawberry "juice"), and strawberry lemonade.