It's a good week in Illinois: the strawberries are ready for picking! We've been out once already and brought home five gallons, which have already been stemmed and made into approximately four batches of freezer jam, two pies, one fruit salad and two loaves of strawberry bread. I feel some homemade strawberry ice cream coming on, too, I'm just saying.
Illinois specialty growers are a good folks and patches like the one we go to, Gillam's in Canton, are run by good families. I grew up picking strawberries with my mother and grandmother at a patch near Fairfield, and now my kids go with me, too. But with some incentive: it was hot the morning we were there, so I promised Jenna a dollar for every gallon she picked. And she picked a whole gallon, so score for both of us.
I blogged this week, too, for Illinois Farm Families and shared my favorite Strawberry Pie recipes: my mother's filling and my mother-in-law's pie crust. Click here for that post...and I bet you'll be picking and baking soon, too!