This strawberry season

I ate my first strawberry of the season standing in my garden surrounded by weeds. Strawberry season

I spotted it, red, plump, and perfect under green leaves as I reached for a handful of grass trying to choke out my garlic. For a moment I thought about calling my girls, but there was only one ripe. I savored it myself.

Yesterday, four more ripened, and I called the girls up to find the little red treasures. We’ll only get a handful as I try to re-stablish a strawberry patch, but what we get is so good.

Most years we go to a pick-your-own place and bring home pounds and pounds (or quarts and quarts). I make jam and ice cream and core and freeze a lot of berries.

The past few years, June has come on fast and strong, and I find myself swamped when I should be picking strawberries. I’m in that place right now—getting through field trips and field day and music shows and end-of-year picnics while trying to wrap up work projects so I can really take the vacation I’m taking at the end of the month.

Still. Strawberries.

Strawberries remind me to make time. Blueberries and raspberries and peaches will do the same later in the season.

We need to make time to go pick before the season’s done. In the meantime, my neighbor dropped of a box of berries and I’ll be making strawberry ice cream later. It’s going to taste good with my chocolate birthday cake tomorrow.

Strawberry Ice Cream

1 pint strawberries, cored and sliced
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 cup + 2/3 cup sugar
1 cup  milk
2 cups heavy cream*
1 tsp vanilla extract

equipment: ice cream maker
Makes about 1 quart

  1. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 1/3 cup of sugar. Stir gently to combine. Let sit for about 2 hours so that the berries macerate . (A little longer fine, a little shorter and you’ll miss out on flavor.)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together milk and sugar. Drain the juice from the strawberries and stir it into the milk-sugar mixture along with the cream.
  3. Put the mix into your ice cream maker and run until thickened (in my machine that’s about 30 minutes).
  4. Add the sliced strawberries and run the machine for 5 minutes.
  5. Eat it soft or let it set for a couple of hours.

* Light cream will work too. I’ve also used a little half and half instead of milk.