Tuesday, 28 June 2011
Here they are in all their glory - the first juicy red berries, with (hopefully) many more to come! I started out with just a few plants 18 months ago, and they've settled in well. The suckers are filling out the planting area quite nicely, so hopefully, we'll have more fruit each year.
Yesterday, I mulched the strawberry bed with straw to prevent the ripening berries from rotting on the soil. It's so disappointing when you pick a DELICIOUS looking ripe juicy berry only to discover that the entire back half of it is rotten from resting on the ground. So sad and very wasteful! The straw will hopefully take care of that problem and will provide a clean dry place for these little gems to bask in the sunshine and ripen to ruby perfection!
I've planted my strawberries in a sheltered spot against a garden shed, so they tend to ripen a little sooner than others in the area. Our local U-Pick Farm won't have ripe strawberries for another 2 weeks due to our late arriving summer weather. We have a date with friends to go berry picking in a few weeks and then we'll be busy working hard to preserve heaps of berries in every way imaginable! Jam, pie, syrup, and simply frozen and dried. For now though, I'll be more than content with eating what comes my way from our garden.
If you have some berries, take a few minutes to make this - I PROMISE you, you won't regret it!!!!!
Incredibly Good Strawberry Shortcake That You Can't Have Just One Slice Of!
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
3 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place milk and butter in a pot on medium/high heat to scald (heat until boiling and butter is melted). Do not let it boil over, turn off immediately. Set aside. Blend sugar, vanilla and egg until well beaten. Add remaining ingredients and beat for one minute. Add hot milk and butter mixture and beat again until velvety and smooth.
Place in greased and floured 9x13 pan or 2 round cake pans. Bake approximately 25-35 minutes depending on the pans used. Done when toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pans.
Serve slathered with slightly sweetened whipped cream and fresh sliced strawberries with a steaming hot cup of strong tea. Bliss!