Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rhubarb, Strawberry & Beach roses

Three things I love about the month of June are the rhubarb patch, the strawberry fields and the beach roses coming into blossom. The weeks have disappeared since I took over a large abandoned garden plot, but the fruits abound, so I keep at it.
Last weekend as the fog lifted and before the afternoon's impending storms moved in so we went strawberry pickin! We pretty much had the fields all to ourselves.. so the picking went fast. It would be such a shame with the amount of rainfall we've been having to just let them go by without at least a few harvests. The elder (92 yrs) caretaker of this plot has since retired but the beds remain just brimming with three different varieties of luscious berries.

Here's the strawberry patch

We picked six quarts.. some for dessert, and some for the freezer. I love opening the freezer in the middle of winter to make shortcakes with early summer berries I've tucked away.

The rhubarb patch is sizeable and a great source of hiding places for my newfound field mouse family that has recently moved in to torment me! ;) It seems they aren't selective in their nibblings.. and now that the nasturtium blossoms are arriving, apprently it's is a delicacy they thoroughly enjoy!

I've just finished reading Barbara Kingsolver's bestseller, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and wanted to try her version of Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp. It turned out well and quickly vanished from our plates. The next time I make it I would cut back on the rhubarb and add more berries. Crisps are pretty easy to make recipes and you can add any fruits of the season you have on hand.

Barbara Kingsolver's Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp recipe:

3 cups strawberries, halved
3 cups rhubarb, chopped
1/2 cup honey (I used wildflower honey)
Mix together thoroughly and place in an 8x8 ungreased pan.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar (or a bit more, to taste)
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1.2 tsp allspice
1/3 cup butter
Mix until crumbly and sprinkle over fruit mixture, and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or so or until golden brown.Enjoy!

And no Spring would be complete in our house without at least one of my Strawberry Rhubarb pies being made. This time I added sliced apples as well to my pie. Just yummy!

The new gardens as well as the three farmer's markets I do weekly are keeping me very busy this year and I wouldn't want it any other way. But as busy as it is, I'll always take time to smell the roses.. the beach roses that fragrance our coastline with their exhilarating aroma. The only thing all this rain will accomplish this year will be to produce a plethora of rosehips for my winter cordial this year.


Karen said...

You've been busy, Jady! Those strawberries are gorgeous and look at all those wonderful treats you've made. We used to pick blueberries when we were kids, but I've never picked a strawberry!

~~louise~~ said...

The Strawberry Moon has sure casts its wonder in your neck of the woods, Jady.

I wish I were in PA to see if my Nasturtiums are blooming. I love them so...My grand-son and I planted some seedlings in an old apple tree while I was in Idaho. Gee, I hope they survive the torrential rain. Although, I've found those ol' nasturtiums can't pretty much stand up to anything, except those darn field mice.

I left my daughter a recipe to pickle the seeds. She couldn't grasp the idea of actually munching the leaves or flowers:( I'll show my grand-daughter when she comes next month.

Rose hips TOO!!! I haven't had beach roses growing since I sold my home on Long Island in 1998. I wonder if they grow in PA? Rose Hip Tea is always a refreshing reminder of summer.

Thank you for sharing, Jady. Your post was just what I needed to keep me grounded today... said...

haven't had any local strawberries yet but need to get out there before they're gone until next year! yours look great Jady. BTW: I have your photo from Siena featured on Fantastic Photos.

Marta said...

Oh gosh, I adore strawberry picking!! It's such a fun activity with the family and it's so great to have all that fresh fruit to play with in the kitchen! Great tart here :)