It's. My. Favorite. Taking the kids to a farm and picking the fruit ourselves... Bringing it home and washing it... Freezing it... Bagging it... And then come September to whenever supplies run out we have this delicious fresh fruit. Mostly for our wine if I'm being honest (frozen peaches in the wine was the best!). But there is nothing quite like the smells of summer on a cold January night, when you're under layer of layer of clothing and blankets and you can just sniff the fresh fruit and be instantly transported to the heat baking down on you and the squeals of laughter surrounding you. That's sort of like freezing a bit of summer if you ask me.
Anyways. First up! Strawberries!
Normally we all go, yes. But we normally don't pick that much. And normally I'm the one cleaning and cutting and freezing. But after the whole peach-in-wine scenario Matt is now fully on board with this entire fruit freezing process. So we really tied on the dog here and picked 22 quarts of berries. Which is a lot. But when the weather cooperates, the kids cooperate, and the berries cooperate you just run with it. The kids were fantastic. Letty was on the hunt for strawberries that were in funky shapes. David chased after her with an empty quart container refusing to pick a single berry, but generally in a good mood which is rare these days. Dominic munched on his snack from the confines of his stroller. And my niece Lena was just all wonderfully red-fingered by the end of it. The berries were so plentiful it took no time at all to pick the 22 quarts. If this is a sign of things to come for the summer and fruit picking then I am just sofreakingexcited.
And! My tips for freezing? Rinse. Cut off the top (which my Dutchy sister-in-law informed me is called "hulling"). Spread out on a parchment covered cookie sheet, not touching otherwise they will stick to each other (which only matters if you plan on wanting pretty looking fruit over the winter, if you don't care because you're making a pie or using them as ice cubes in your wine then whatever, touch away.). Once they are frozen then plop into a Ziploc bag and wala!
Oh and always drink a mojito made with these freshest of strawberries and the mint from the backyard.