Well, Spring Break is about to wrap for us here. Just one day off left, on Monday (which is technically a staff day), and then back to school and back to my regularly scheduled program. I'll admit, we've been having a blast these past 2 weeks, and I'm generally sad to see it end, but this will just be a preview of Summer, so I am okay with knowing that. Wednesday I had planned, what I called, a field trip. I let Sabrina pick out her favorite Lunchables, and a side of fruit from Fresh & Easy; packed a couple of bottles of water with some ice packs in a backpack and we headed out of town with the top down. In all, the pick-your-own farm we planned to visit, the very same one from my own childhood memories with Momma, is a short drive through the rural part of the county. (I know, it's hard to believe we have rural here in Southern California, but our home town is actually the Strawberry Capital!) Within 25 minutes we were windblown and wide eyed to experience all this family run farm had to offer.
It's still fairly early in the rowing season, so much of the available produce was picked towards the middle of the crops. I still managed to find some beautiful radishes (I'm the only one who eats them here), and there were row upon row of Strawberries almost a mile hike back. We literally got to walk through the orchards of Valencia Oranges and Avocados to get to them! Now this was what I remembered from my own childhood; leaning over the rows of leafy green to spot that one 'perfect' berry 3 rows over. We picked until our containers could hold no more, a modest 5lbs and I was tickled to discover our cart full of produce cost less than $20! It doesn't get much better than fresh from the farm, and at an amazing deal too. Of course we perused the actual produce stand before leaving. There was this curious Purple broccoli- I suppose it's quite common to some, but I was captivated by it's unusual eggplant color.
Of course I wasn't going to let several pounds of berries go to waste- On the drive home all I'd been thinking was "I must text Jay and tell him to bring home crust and dipping chocolate." It turns out we only had enough berries, once cleaned and processed, to make a pie. I've promised all parties involved we will go back to the farm real soon (June is blackberry and raspberry season) to make use of the dipping chocolate. I was a bit bummed when I actually read the tips on the pre-made crust box and decided to defrost the dough to room temperature before handling it. This made it stick when unrolling and really turned into a mess for lattice work. Oh well- it may have not been the prettiest Strawberry Pie, but it was delicious! Jay agrees but he tends to put more Cool Whip than pie on his plate, so it's hard to say whether he tastes it at all. Monday I have planned a very relaxing day for Sabrina and I with an afternoon showing of The Croods at a theater with recliners for chairs, and in-film meal service. Until then, have a wonderful weekend everyone!
What Daughter Says: A visit to the farm fosters value of everyday foods.
Strawberry Pie Filling
***click here for printable recipe
* 1 C Mashed Strawberries (Food Processed is Fine)
* 4 C Sliced Strawberries
* 3/4 C Water
* 3/4 C White Sugar
* 3 TBS Cornstarch
* 1 TBS Lemon Juice
* 1/4 TSP Salt
1.) Combine mashed strawberries and water in saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 3 minutes. Strain juice from pulp. Ensure you have 1C of Juice, add water as needed.
2.) Combine remaining ingredients with Sugar Mixture. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until semi-translucent and thick (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat and cool slightly. Stir in strawberries and add to pie crust.
***This filling may be served in a chilled open top pie, or baked lattice crust as shown above. To bake with pre-made crust, heat pie at 350F for 8-10 minutes, or until crust begins to turn golden brown.