When I was growing up, the start of my summer was officially Memorial Day weekend–our first weekend of the year at our summer place. Even now, the last weekend of May I always associate with the beginning of summer, the end of school (or close to it) and …strawberries.
Since it was our first weekend at the beach, we’d head down early Saturday morning to open up the place and get things ready for the season. Nearby, there was a farm that had "pick-your-own" fields open to the public. Memorial Day weekend meant the strawberry fields were open. As we’d round the bend toward our summer house, my sister and I would excitedly point out to my mother that there were already a lot of people in the fields and if we didn’t get there soon all the strawberries would be gone. We usually made it to the farm the following day and of course there were still plenty of strawberries left. We’d spend a few hours picking the big, juicy berries and I’m pretty sure I ate more than I put in the basket to take home.
Unfortunately, that farm has since been sold and beach homes now stand where the fields were, but I still mark the end of May as the best time to visit the local farmer’s market or produce stand and get the best strawberries of the year! My mother traditionally put up homemade strawberry jam, which we’d enjoy all year. I’m not quite that adventurous, so I stick with easier ways to enjoy them. Thankfully my kids love them sliced fresh with a little whipped cream on top.
The Fruits & Veggies–More Matters site has some tasty recipes you might want to try while strawberries are at their peak of flavor:
Enjoy and if you’re lucky enough to live near a "pick-your-own" farm, take advantage of it–you’ll be glad you did!