Holy crap on a cracker ya’ll, JUNE? Seriously? How did that happen?
I was off on Friday and decided on a whim to call the u-pick farm where I pick strawberries every year, and lo and behold they were open. Woman said it was their earliest season in at least 30 years. It was a gorgeous Northwest day, almost 80, and the fields were full of ripe berries. I had stopped by Costco to get nice shallow boxes and the woman at the berry hut laughed and me and said “you really think you’re gonna fill all those up”? I replied “I’m sure gonna try”.
90 minutes later, hot, dusty, and tired, I stumbled down the hill (five times because I had a lot of boxes), lined my boxes up to be weighed, panted and said “I did it”. She gave me a nice little hand clap, and then told me I had picked almost 50 pounds of berries. By myself. In less than two hours. That’s almost a half pound per minute.
Triumphant and dirty, I headed home with my car smelling like a unicorn’s cotton candy fart. I wish my car always smelled like fresh strawberries.
Side note, still loving my Outback. So much room for berries and other stuff. And it was such a comfy ride to and from the farm.
And then of course I pull in to the driveway, and reality set in. Ugh, that is so many freaking strawberries to wash, process, and freeze. I need to make jam, but didn’t have time this weekend to do it, but frozen berries work fine for jam in a few weeks.
Then I had a lightbulb moment, hauled the berries in to my parent’s apartment, and put this fine lady to work!
We washed, hulled, and froze all 50 (ish) pounds of berries in less than two hours. We chatted, laughed, and sampled the goods in that time, and it was so nice to have a kitchen partner. I told her I hoped she had fun, because she’s signed herself up to be my canning assistant going forward. Side note: my parents have AC is their apartment, which is amazing for summer canning. Hmmm…use my kitchen which is already over 80 degrees in the summer before I add a pot of water that is boiling for an hour…or go downstairs and do it in their cool kitchen. Seems like a no brainer to me.
And then when we were done, I realized I needed to pick the ripe strawberries in our yard. I was a bit “strawbed” out by then.
Also, when I woke up yesterday morning feeling like my thighs had been stomped on by Andre the Giant. I forgot that 90 minutes of squatting is a hell of a work out. I’ve been hobbling all day like someone in her 80’s. It’s a great look, and makes me wonder if I’m really actually working out every morning, or if it’s just a mirage induced by exhaustion.
In garden news, we got the tomato plants in the ground last Monday, and I’m pleased to see I still have enough room for five more, bringing us up to 17 plants this year. Score! I’m almost out of home-canned diced tomatoes and tomato soup, plus my mom loves fresh tomatoes, so we need plenty of plants to keep us supplied in 2015 and half of 2016. Still to come: basil, cucumbers, and summer squash. I no longer plant pumpkin seeds because the chickens seem to plant the seeds themselves and they grow abundantly.
As I mentioned earlier, our strawberries are ripening, and we’ve eaten a grand total of three ripe blueberries so far. The 21 (21!!) blueberry plants all ripen at different times, so we have a lovely spread of ripe blueberries throughout the season. Even if I had four acres of blues, it would never be enough for Jack. Raspberries should be ripening within a month, and our mini drawf apple trees are plugging away producing little fruits for our enjoyment. Well, Jack’s enjoyment. He is the only one in this house who really consumes the fruit; Troy and I don’t even have a chance. It’s like trying to fight a shark for a raw steak.
Meal plan time! Just a reminder, we only plan dinners.
Monday:: Taco bowls
Tuesday:: Buffalo chicken wraps, grilled asparagus
Wednesday:: Chef’s salads and pretzel rolls
Thursday:: Chicken burgers (these didn’t turn out as expected last week, so this is a do over) and asparagus
Friday:: Popcorn dinner
Saturday:: My nephew’s birthday party
Sunday:: Family dinner and celebrating Troy’s birthday a few days early with the fam.
I haven’t gone grocery shopping yet because I worked all day Saturday. You read that right. All.day.Saturday. Blech!
What are you having this week?