One of my newly favorite summer traditions is picking strawberries. I had never heard of picking them yourself until I moved to Wisconsin. It seems like this is a favorite tradition of many of my friends and acquaintances! I was able to go 2 years ago with my then-neighbor (and friend) Angela, but last year I was 9 months pregnant, unable and unwilling to go. My good friend Suzy surprised me with fresh-picked strawberries just days before I gave birth to Allison, and so I set about making jam with the precious few that I had.
This year I was able to go by myself. Dan stayed home with the kids and I left shortly after waking. It was warm already at 7:30, and the day promised to get warmer and more humid. It was good to start early. After a short drive and an even shorter tractor ride, I was in the middle of an immense field of ripe and ready-to-be-picked strawberries. It took only about 20 minutes and only about 6 feet of plants to fill my flat and I headed back to pay.
After arriving home and deciding all that I wanted to do with my fresh strawberries, I started to worry that I should have picked more. (I picked over 11 pounds!) But once I prepared 4 batches of jam and made 2 strawberry pies, I decided that the remaining berries were the perfect amount to enjoy for snacking and on cereal for the coming days.
So summer is officially here, with the taste of sweet, juicy, wonderful strawberries. What do you enjoy as a summer tradition?
*picture provided by Ernest von Rosen, www.amgmedia.com