Even though summer doesn’t technically start until June 21 many people mark the start of summer with Memorial Day Weekend. I do start to feel summery around then but the real mark of summer, for me anyways, is the arrival of strawberries.
Oh how I love those sweet little gems. I crave them all year long, especially when I bite into a gigantic, tasteless, out of season, imported berry. In-season Ohio strawberries are some of the best in the world. I will eat them till my belly hurts and then eat some more. They are perfect and one of my very favorite things on earth.
Saturday marked the first day of strawberry season at the Haymaker Farmers’ Market thanks to Doug of Morning Dew Orchards. We knew these babies would sell out fast so Diane and I each snagged some as soon as he was open for business.
My favorite local pickin’ patch, Walnut Drive Gardens, isn’t picking yet but I’m checking their website everyday. Doug’s berries are delicious but pick your own means more berries for less money so I gotta go with what makes sense.
At the end of the market on Saturday our new market neighbor Mrs. Hyde of Hyde Park Farms very graciously gave me some rhubarb odds and ends. Woohoo! In turn, I swapped her some of our Strawberry Rhubarb Jam (made with the rhubarb I bought from her last time) and purchased a pack of her baby beef T-bone steaks.
When we got home from the market Saturday we laid a blanket out in the yard and enjoyed some berries. Ellie has really enjoyed eating those imported, tasteless berries I mentioned earlier so I was pretty excited to give her some local strawberries.
She enjoyed them with gusto! Red juice ran down her chin as she toddled around the yard. Her enjoyment brought a tear to my eye and together we ate an entire pint of berries.
So I was left with a pint of berries and a bit of rhubarb. Strawberries. Rhubarb. The obvious thing to do was bake a crisp.
During Ellie’s Sunday mid-morning nap I pulled out a great cookbook my sister & brother-in-law got me for Christmas – Susie Middleton’s Fresh From The Farm: A Year of Recipes and Stories. It’s a pretty righteous book and her recipe for strawberry-rhubarb crisp with brown sugar-pecan topping sounded pretty damn good.
Update: it WAS damn good.