Strawberries are in!

Strawberries in the fieldThe second week of April here in Hampton Roads brought an early treat – red, ripe strawberries fresh from the field.  YUM.

I’ve been to the fields twice already, each time returning home with buckets heaped with red ripe strawberries.  They now sit on my kitchen counter, filling the air with an irresistable scent.  I may have eaten one or two teeny tiny ones before breakfast.  Who am I kidding, they were the size of a baby’s fist.

For a scant four to eight weeks, I’m prone to stuffing myself with fresh local strawberries at every opportunity.  I eat them warm from the sun or cool from the fridge.  I slice them and put them on top of cream cheese and toast or layer them in a homemade strawberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream.  If the family and I can keep our mitts off them long enough to make a recipe, we make smoothies – but only with the ugly ones.  The pretty ones with long stems get a bath in chocolate to prepare them for consumption.

I’m fortunate enough to live close to Lilley Farms and proud to be a frequent customer there.  The fields are well maintained – no need to worry about knee-high weeds here! My children always have to pose with the giant strawberry. The strawberries are so good, I can’t even look at grocery store strawberries for most of the year.  If you don’t live close to Lilley Farms, look for a you-pick closer to home.  If you don’t live near a you-pick strawberry field, perhaps you should consider moving.