Saturday, July 11, 2009
One of the activities I looked forward to each year, while living in Western Maine, was the opportunity to pick my own seasonal produce. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples, pumpkins... sometimes I picked at a farm, other things, such as fiddle head ferns, I could just pick in the woods. Daily, I could drive by small farms that had stands at the end of their driveways with corn, potatoes, whatever was the current crop. Plus, one of my best friends would give me the eggs her chickens laid. At one point I even had vegetable garden and completed the Master Gardener course...
Our daughter has spent most of her three years in Banff where we are lucky to have two local farmers markets but what they sell is not terribly local, it mostly comes from British Columbia. Alberta is rancher country but in Banff there are not any local pick-your-own farms (what I wouldn't do for farm fresh eggs!) so aside from an annual stop at a farm that makes ice cream on the way to Kelowna, my child only knows what she reads in books, from playtime with her wooden barn, and what we tell her about farms. She thinks strawberries and the like come from the grocery store. So, while visiting my in laws in Ottawa, I was thrilled that it was strawberry season. I knew we just had to take her picking. We drive less than 10 minutes away to the Prouxl farm. We met a school bus coming down the drive which I imagined was full of children fresh from picking. Once we got there the stand was open but the fields were closed. My father in law explained that we had a little one who really wanted to pick strawberries and the generous family gave us baskets, had their son walk us to the field, and QQ was thrilled to spend a small part of a sunshiny afternoon filling her basket with berries. It is a lovely memory...
Walking through the patch with Grandma.
Look at what I have! Strawberries!!
Gobbling up the rewards of the pickings... Yum!
If you are lucky enough to pick some fresh berries I suggest you make these (you can make them with store bought berries, too).
Strawberry Corn Muffins
Recipe by Vegetarian Times
Makes 12 muffins
* 1 cup cornmeal
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 Tbs. baking powder
* 1/2 tsp. salt
* 2 large eggs
* 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk
* 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
* 1 cup sliced strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl. Whisk together eggs and buttermilk in separate bowl. Stir cornmeal mixture into egg mixture. Fold in melted butter and strawberries. Scoop batter into muffin pan.
3. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until tops are brown. Cool 10 minutes in pan; cool completely on baking rack.
Per SERVING: Calories: 160, Protein: 4g, Total fat: 3g, Saturated fat: 1g, Carbs: 28g, Cholesterol: 40mg, Sodium: 270mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 10g
All Photos by Tiffany Teske