You know what’s great? Buckets of warm, shiny strawberries.
You know what’s not so great? Dragging an angsty teenager out of bed at the crack of dawn on the first day of her summer vacation to pick said strawberries.
Believe me, growing up I took every opportunity to complain about this tradition. But at the end of the long day, when my hands were stained a dusty rose, and I sat before a bowl of warm shortcake, sugared strawberries, and cold milk, even my grumpy teenage self had to admit life wasn’t so bad.
This year, I plan to put myself through the same grueling (yes, maybe I still have a bit of my teenage dramatics left) process, because deep down I secretly love it. I love coming home from a morning of picking strawberries with dirt under my fingernails and a sunburn on my shoulders. I love that those little red beauties are still warm when we drag them into the house. I love that hand picked strawberries are a little gnarly, not like the uniform shape and size of the store bought variety. And most of all, I love eating them. I love the juice dripping down my chin, the seeds getting in my teeth, the sweet flesh giving way in my mouth.
Whether it’s just been torn from it’s leafy home or it’s been smashed and sugared for dessert, nothing tells my tastebuds it’s summer like fresh from the patch strawberries.
So for all of you crazies like me who on some lovely sunny day may find yourself suddenly surrounded by berries–berries in the sink, berries on the counter, berries in buckets on the floor–here are some recipes from Bake.Eat.Repeat. and some of my favorite blogs to help you put every last one to good use.
Homemade Strawberry Jam from Savannah’s Savory Bites