Monday, September 7, 2009

To Cap Off Our Summer...

We spent part of the Labor Day weekend laboring in the fields: picking strawberries and raspberries in the sweltering heat. Ugh! But (as I pointed out to my husband when he balked at the price of our organic berries) the whole experience was totally worth it (and you can't put a price on family fun, can you?). I also cut several bunches of basil and some fresh flowers too. In the end, our tummies and our baskets were full of sun-ripened goodness.

This farm is one we regularly visit every year at this time. Everything is grown organically, so I don't worry when the little ones eat more than they pick! It's so quaint and welcoming. As one of the workers told us, "Everyone who comes here to pick berries or vegetables is happy. I am so lucky to work around happy people surrounded by beautiful gardens for a living!"

Our little guy had a blast. He trudged up and down the rows, holding tightly to his berry of choice in his sticky, juice-covered little hand!
And we were amazed by how fast Roo can pick berries. A year or so ago, she spent more time eating berries than filling her basket. But this year she was very focused and task-oriented (which was probably why it cost us so much more this year than in years past -- paying by the pound adds up quickly with a nimble-fingered four year old helping you!).

A stop in the farm's general store is a must. They sell these delicious treats called fruit logs: dried fruit (from the local harvest) rolled in coconut. Apple-cinnamon, peach, strawberry-cherry, and lemon are among the flavor choices. They are so soft and chewy. The perfect sweet to top off our picnic lunch.
I have plans for cobbler and coffee cake with some of our berry bounty. I will freeze the majority of our pickings to enjoy in the coming fall and winter. As for the basil I picked, there will be lots of pesto. We put pesto on almost everything: pasta, roasted veggies, chicken, burgers, and sandwiches!
We spent the rest of our weekend biking, going for long walks, and lolling around in the hammock at our family's BBQ. It was pretty much the quintessential long holiday weekend.

My contribution to the BBQ meal was sweet corn-on-the-cob and this pie:

I can think of few better ways to cap off the summer season than with a fresh peach pie! Definitely what made it extra special was the cream cheese crust, which ended up tasting like a giant sugar cookie (in fact, the crust did turn out about a 1/2 inch thick--just like a cookie). Fresh, sugared peaches piled high on top of a cookie crust and topped with whipped cream? It's hard to go wrong with that, isn't it?? Mmmm! The only unfortunate part was the lack of leftovers to take home! :)


  1. I'm laughing to myself about the lack of leftover:) Isn't that always the truth, guess that just means that it was too good for everyone to pass up. It looks so very yummy and like it belongs in bakers case at your local neighborhood bakery! Pass the recipe along when you get the chance.
    How fun to finish summer with berry picking. Reminds me of the few times I was able to pick fresh raspberries from the bush in my Grandparents backyard. There's nothing like fresh raspberries. . . fresh anything for that matter:)
    So glad you all had a nice long weekend and here's to a great Fall!

  2. Oh, J. You are so sweet to say that about my pie (I almost didn't post the photo because the pie looked like I put the whipped cream on while blindfolded!) :)

    So true about freshly picked food. I often think about you and your tomato plant when I slice into a nasty store-bought tomato!

    Bring on Fall! I'm soooo ready! ((Hugs to you!))

  3. we too have been busy enjoying raspberries and blackberries from our yard and woods. i love that you are listening to Elizabeth Mitchell, You are my little bird is so sweet!

  4. Gardenmama,
    So sorry to leave your kind comment hanging without a response for so long!
    Would love to have easy access to blackberries as you do! Mmmm... Do you eat them off the vine or do you whip up something special with the ones you pick?
    I agree that Elizabeth Mitchell is sweet on the ears (unlike most music geared toward children)!