Thursday, July 14, 2016

Strawberries and Blueberries, Oh My!

We LOVE fruit here in our house.  The only fruit that someone in our house snubs their nose at are bananas and that someone is me.  I just don't like bananas, they have a weird aftertaste to me that I just can't get over.  I have try them every once in awhile, but I still just can't like them.  Anyway, we love the summer because fruit is in season.  There are so many fruits in season right now where we live - cherries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries are almost ripe, and the melons are coming on.  I think our family could live on just fruit, but we don't because it would get pretty expensive during our cold winter.

One of our favorite things to do in the summer is to go with groups of friends to the U-Pick fruit patches.  This year we went strawberry picking in June.  The berries were beautifully red, sweet, and juicy.   This was the first time Little Miss has ever been to the strawberry patch.  I don't know how we missed it the last few years, but somehow every June we have missed picking strawberries.  As we were out there picking them, it dawned on me that the last time I had been strawberry picking was when Buddy was little.  Little enough that he just sat next to where I was picking strawberries, eating them as fast as his little hands could pick them.  I think he was about 3 the last time I went...time flies.  Anyway, a group of friends decided to get together and go.  We decided where we were going and met everyone there.  Both kids did an excellent job of picking strawberries and filling our cartons.  Of course they had to taste them along the way because the lady running the register told them too.  I am sure that is their favorite part of picking fruit...eating it as they pick.  We picked and picked until our carton was full.  Then we brought them home and washed them.  We kept some our for eating, some I made into strawberries and syrup to eat over angel food cake, and the rest we froze.  My kids love frozen fruit!  I also thaw some and make things throughout the year.  Some of our favorite recipes with strawberries are these Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles, Strawberry Pretzel Salad, and smoothies just to name a few.

 Today we made our first trip of the year to go pick blueberries.  Oh my!  They are so sweet and juicy this year.  I think I started dreaming of picking blueberries back in February.  The kids both LOVE blueberries and I am truly thankful they don't weigh your kids after they get done picking because I think they eat as many as they pick.  Again today we went with friends, it makes the work go so much faster when you are having fun.  We have been blueberry picking every year, multiple times a year since Little Miss was big enough to walk.  She used to just stand there and eat blueberries while we picked, but now she is old enough to get her own small bucket to fill.  We picked almost 20 pounds of blueberries today and this is just the first time we went for the season.  We already have plans to go again tomorrow.  So what do I do with all the blueberries?  I freeze the majority of them.  Did you know that frozen blueberries taste like candy?  They are so sweet and good.  I never tell my kids no when they ask for blueberries with the lunch instead of something sugary as long as we have blueberries in the house.  Once they are frozen we eat them like that, put them in smoothies, or sometimes I thaw them to bake with.  The blueberries I don't freeze, I use to make Blueberry Buckle, Blueberry Muffins, and Blueberry Bread among other desserts.

These pictures are from last year.  I forgot my camera today, but will be taking it tomorrow.
Do you go pick fruit where you live?  Which fruits are your favorite?  All of the recipes I linked to are recipes we really use for these fruits.  Let me know if you try them.

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