Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kickin' it in SA: Strawberry Picking at Marburger Orchard

As I mentioned in my last post, last week while my brother was in town visiting, we went strawberry picking!  We went to Marburger Orchard which is near Fredericksburg.  It's about an hour from where we live in San Antonio, but it's a beautiful drive so we didn't mind at all!  

There are several "pick-your-own" farms around the San Antonio area (like Love Creek Orchards where we picked apples last year), but we had heard great things about strawberry picking at Marburger Orchard so we decided to give them a try!  And they didn't disappoint!  The owner was nice, but he was strictly business :)  He had lots of rules to follow (many of which pertaining to keeping children from yanking the plants out of the ground), but we didn't mind--I'm sure there have been plenty of situations to warrant the creation of all his rules!  We kept an eye on Will and Clara, but they did great.  They had more fun just putting the berries into the basket than picking them, so my brother and I ended up doing almost all the picking ourselves!  It turned out to be a pretty good system :)

The nice thing about strawberry season is that it's not sweltering hot!  It was a pleasant day in the beautiful orchard and we had a lot of fun.  Peach picking in a couple of months, however, might be a different story!  But I'm sure they'd be worth it.  (FYI blackberry season starts around next week and peach season starts the last week of May and goes through July.)

We filled our basket and ended up with a little over 7 pounds of strawberries!  That's more than enough for our little family to eat, so at that point we called it good and went and sat at a picnic table on the property and pulled out the lunch we had packed, which was complemented very nicely with fresh strawberries.

Going to Marburger Orchard was a lot of fun.  It's a special outing that's out of the ordinary, it provides a great opportunity to teach kids about where our food comes from, and of course there's the fact that fresh berries are just about the best thing ever!  After this little adventure, we ate strawberries with every meal for several days, I made our family's version of strawberries 'n cream (simple recipe below), and we made a batch of homemade fruit leather!  We definitely have had our fill of strawberries this season and we've loved it!

Strawberries 'n Cream

- Slice as many strawberries as you need and place them in a bowl
- Cover the strawberries with milk (to make it extra creamy, substitute half the milk with half and half)
- Add a tablespoon of sugar at a time until it's sweet enough for your liking
- Add approximately 1 tsp of vanilla extract (more/less depending on your quantity)
- Enjoy!!!

For me, eating strawberries 'n cream like this brings back wonderful memories from growing up.  Plus, I think this is the perfect sweet treat in the springtime or for brunch!  And feel free to experiment and use this recipe with other fruits as well; it works well with all other types of berries, but I particularly like to make peaches 'n cream this way!  And if you try peaches 'n cream, don't forget to add a dash of nutmeg as well!  YUM!

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