Strawberry picking

(023:  Salad for lunch.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

M the Younger arrived safe and sound last night.  His flight came in a little early and he had his checked bag and was ready to go before we arrived to pick him up.  He looks good.  He looks happy.  That makes me happy.

M and I went strawberry picking with a friend today.  We went to Hilgert’s strawberry fields to pick.   You might not want to bother with that link just yet.  Their website needs to be fixed and it could be a little while before that happens.  Mrs. Hilgert took care of the website and she died over the winter.  Her death is likely to lead to a lot of change for the farm and market.  I hope not too much change, but I’m sure the family is doing what they can and/or what is best for them.  She will be greatly missed by a lot of people in this area.

I’m pretty certain (but always open to having my mind changed) that Hilgert’s strawberries are some of the yummiest strawberries in the world.  For most of my life I wasn’t terribly crazy about strawberries.  When it came to berries, I was always a blueberry gal.  I considered strawberries to be okay, just no great shakes.  Then I had my first Hilgert’s strawberry and I became a strawberry fan.  They are sweet, juicy, and wonderfully strawberry flavored, as Mother Nature intended.  Much, much better than the stuff they truck in from California.  The transportable California strawberries may hold up well when it comes to travel, but they’re hollow inside and have very little flavor to them.

The salad pictured at the top of this post includes strawberries we picked today and some of the baby lettuces from my garden.  Not pictured are the chipotle cashews we decided to add to it.  It was an excellent salad with a great combination of sweet, spicy, and (slightly) bitter.

What’s exciting is that this is just the beginning of the growing season and being able to once again eat fresh, locally (sometimes personally) grown foods.  I love this time of year.

The friend we went strawberry picking with (thanks for the ride!) brought us some peonies from her yard.  I took (more than) a few photos of them.  One or two will show up on my other blog, but here’s one for you Bogs blog readers:

(Peony petals.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)