A Saturday. An Early Morning. And a quest to get to the strawberry patch.
Perhaps because we now know the kind of heat in store for us in a few months, we have learned that Houstonians flock to any Spring season tradition.
M. and I decided to take off early, enjoy a cool morning drive, and arrive at the strawberry patch, hopefully, before the parade of strawberry pickers canvas the fields filled with tiny orbs of crimson spring deliciousness.
Must come back with a full bucket of strawberries.
Crepes filled with thinly sliced, fresh, juicy strawberries were at stake.
I enjoy this particular drive out into the countryside beyond Houston. Once we pass the sweeping rows of shops, restaurants, and more shops, the fields begin to widen, green spaces become more expansive, and scenery takes on a more rural quality.
Wildflowers in the most cheery shade of pink line the narrow country roads leading the strawberry patch. The cows have plenty of baby calves awkwardly stumbling about, probably getting used to the onslaught of cars making their yearly pilgrimage to Froberg's Strawberry Farm.
Groups of cyclists were out in packs. Fifteen or twenty bicyclists, all clustered together like a swarm of colorful fish, glided noiselessly by on the miles of country roads that are scenic but more importantly...flat!
We crunched up the gravel road to the farm. There was the old craggy oak tree with its heavy scarred limbs resting themselves on the ground.
Strawberries, that tumbled out inbetween the petite white flowers were ripe, ruby red, and ready for our picking!
This delightful little child was just entering the patch with her family. She had this adorable green checkered shirt on, beautiful sun kissed red hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a floppy sunflower yellow hat.
She and her family looked so thrilled and happy to be out in the cool morning air, little wooden buckets in hand, ready to go strawberry picking.
The huge perk to Froberg's Stawberry Farm is it's a place for all local farmers to bring their crops for sale. From the creaky screened door, partially open air pavilion, and country setting, shopping here is a sensory experience of delight.
The fruits and vegetables are always plentiful. But in addition, fruit hand pies are usually coming right out of the oven and drifting their tempting warm, spiced scent over the shoppers. We always come home with strawberry, apricot, or blueberry hand pies and several jars of fig jam.
We are also never known to leave Froberg's without a bag of their tart, fruity, chewy, thick strawberry licorice. Don't even come home unless we have the strawberry licorice.
As if the hot homemade pies coming out of the ovens were not enough, Froberg's has a Smokehouse right next door to the market. Ribs, sausages, jerky, and roasts are all being smoked and sold to the market shoppers.
Families spend hours at the farm, picking strawberries in the back fields, shopping in the market, and then picnicking outside while enjoying pulled pork or beef sandwiches.
But, crepes were on order for our Sunday breakfast the next day. After watching the train sweep by, always a delight to the children at the farm, we headed home with our goodies loaded in baskets.
Crepes and strawberries go hand in hand. We washed them well and thought about the next day's Sunday breakfast.
P. whipped up a batch of whipped cream. Not only does the combination taste delicious but it's such a pretty breakfast treat.
The next morning, a few sausages grilled, fresh strong coffee brewed, and our Sunday morning breakfast was just as we like it...slow, relaxing, and delicious.
It's probably the only morning out of 7 days that we stretch out our time at the table, have a second cup of coffee, stay in our jammies until noon, and try to keep life simple.
With a full bucket of strawberries to tempt me, however, and a dinner of smoked meats ready for the early evening, I was tingling to use up the rest of that ruby red fruit.
I had been eyeing this one recipe and thought I would give it a try since we had so many strawberries on hand. While everyone else went about their day's plans, I had fun in the kitchen creating another use for my strawberries.
I look forward to sharing it here on "Thyme" real soon!
Enjoy every bit of spring...for if you are anywhere in the south...we all know what comes next!
Crepes with Strawberries and Homemade Whipped Cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1. Sift together flour, sugar and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together with an electric mixer. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; stir in melted butter.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Brown on both sides and serve hot. [Makes 10-12 crepes]