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Showing posts with label strawberry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label strawberry. Show all posts

Seasonal Rituals / Summer - Strawberry Picking

On the weekend of Solstice and the first days of Summer, we spent a sunny morning  picking strawberries at our local PYO farm.  Just as we have done every year since Charlie was a toddler.  It is part of our family summer rituals and something I insist we always do.

In the past we have always taken someone with us, my mum, Dan, friends and this year one of our good family friend and her two year old daughter Mei. As Mei sat there in the middle of the strawberry patch, stuffing warm juicy berries into her mouth, with the juice running down her, it reminded me of years past, and my own sons doing the very same.

We managed to pick about 2 kilos worth of strawberries in the end.  I've already made strawberry ice-cream, strawberry meringues & cream, and have frozen the rest for Strawberry jam making later in the summer.  I shall post the ice-cream recipe later in the week.

You can read our past strawberry picking visits here:

2010 / 2011 / 2012 / 2013

Look at the boys - my babies have grown!

going on a berry hunt...

Our Summer tradition of picking Strawberries at our local PYO farm, is always one of my favourite yearly activities, this and chopping down our Christmas tree.  We've been going for a number of years now, last year with Dan, the year before just us.  This year we went with friends - Lottie and her gorgeous boys.

Games of 'who can eat the biggest strawberry' to pretending we were 'going on a bear hunt', shouts of 'Eat it' followed by 'shhhh don't tell everyone'.  Much craziness and laughter that only happens with friends, boys and forbidden fruit eating!

I did manage to haul a load of strawberries and a small amount of Raspberries - Charlie scoffed what I was putting in the basket!

Back home I spent a few hours turning the jewel like berries into jars of glowing strawberry jam and raspberry ice-cream.  For a recipe for the ice-cream, please see Lotties blog - I swapped the berries.

I love this summer tradition... to us, it marks the start of summer holidays.

Best of Bedminster Show 2010

What an amazing weekend!  The sun shone so hard, I thought it was going to wear itself out!  The final golden rays of summer, slanting shadows and warm sunkissed skin.  Totally beautiful.

Last Saturday was the Best of Bedminster Show (BOB), our own take on a classic village fete.  We live in a very bustling suburb in Bristol (Bedminster), very firmly in the grow your own movement, and although we are in the City we have hearts in the country.

The Bedminster show is a wonderful community event bringing together local groups such as Sustainable Southville, Pace, Better By Bike, City Car Club, and other proactive groups such as the help the bees club.

Like all good shows, there was a chance to join in.  Several categories in which you could enter your best seasonal produce, scariest vegetable, best jam, best chutney, best cake etc.

In our household the Best Jam category was hotly contested.  I entered my classic Strawberry Jam  whilst Dan entered his 'Rootin Tootin' Rhubarb Jam (to which he was convinced he would win).  Hmmm, yeah right!

The Judges took their jobs of tasting very seriously.  The tent was sealed, no-one was allowed near.

At 2pm, hush descends the crowd, as Bob (the compere) steps up to announce the winners of the Jam Competition:

1st Prize:  Apple & Cranbery Jam
2nd Prize:   Blackberry Jelly
3rd Prize:  Me!

Here I am receiving my certificate... heheh so chuffed!
(Yes, Bob is a woman dressed as a man! - in a comedy way, not a wierd way!!!)

Some of the produce on display was dazzling!  Just look at this yummy cake, god it's making me hungry!

The seasonal produce displays were awesome!  The stuff at my allotment has either been munched by us or the rabbits!  Note to self: Save some for next years show!

The boys loved it, and just hang out with their friends from school.

Just a great day.  More sunshine, more cake and more days like this please!

Strawberry picking & Jam making

One of the joys of summer is to pick fresh juicy strawberries and munch them straight from the plant.

I haven't picked my own strawberries for years, and most of the farms in our area have stopped doing Pick your own, either due to financial reasons or lack of interest.  Well, I decided we as a family need to do this, it's important isn't it?

There is only one farm near Bristol that is still doing this, Chosen Hill Farm over looking the gorgeous Chew Valley Lake, so off we went to pick strawberries for Jam.

View from the farm with Chew Valley Lake in the distance.

We were not disappointed, such a beautiful farm and fields of strawberries, black currants, peas and broad beans as far as the eye could see, ripe for the picking.

Soon our baskets were filled with the best looking and best tasting strawberries I have ever seen.  These little plump babies were destined for the jam pot.

Somebody ate more than he picked, but hey that's cool, aren't 2 years old supposed to do this?

Once home I wasted no time in capturing that fresh strawberry taste and turned these into the sweetest strawberry jam.

Unfortunately, no tasting these until the depths of winter.  When it's cold and gloomy outside, I will bring out these little pots of sunshine and we will remember this glorious sunny day and look forward to summer next year.

Are you doing any jamming (strawberry or Bob Marley)?!  Yes, this song was going round my head whilst I was stirring the pot... mad how the mind works!

Have a great weekend!