If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I've been anxiously awaiting the start of the warm weather growing season. Fruit just tastes so much better when you pick it yourself or at least buy it from the farmer who recently picked it.
I made my first farm trip of the year this weekend when I picked strawberries with my friends Andrea and Christina. We visited Homestead Farms in Poolesville, Maryland and I had a great time.
It has become a bit of tradition for us, and we have made the trip several times over recent years. The farm is not far out of Washington, DC in Montgomery County, and has a variety of produce throughout the spring, summer, and fall. We have a nice visit in the car, and then share ideas of how to use the fresh fruit.
It has become a pretty popular place with families, especially with an expanded petting area with goats and a calf, and a hayride to the picking fields.
Each season, we hear more languages spoken as immigrant families bring their kids to the farm, too. This year we realized the farm is responding to this expanded clientele and we noticed a sign in what we think is Korean. Neat, huh?
The farm has a store to sell other kinds of produce and a kitchen that makes goodies with the fresh fruit. Our favorite is the strawberry smoothie. It wasn't quite as good this year. I fear they may be responding to their clientele in another way by making the smoothie lighter in calories instead of rich in cream that coats your tongue with a slickness as you gulp down chunks of strawberries. Sigh. Don't worry I still drank it all, though.
I went a bit crazy this year in my picking....I came home with over 10 pounds of strawberries.
It was a gorgeous day and the berries were plentiful, so it was easy to get carried away. The smell of freshly picked strawberries is just heavenly, and it made the car ride home even more cheery.
I have big plans for them, so I'm not worried about using them all. In fact, you should expect to read multiple entries about strawberries in the coming days. I hope Andrea will share her recipe for strawberry bread so I can try it out.
Our first treat, though, was strawberry cream popsicles. I thought they would make a nice dessert after our heavy meal of beef brisket. Plus, we could use the new popsicle molds my husband and I got from my parents for Christmas. It was my first time to make popsicles from fresh fruit, and I imagine I will continue to tinker with the recipe, but here is what I did this time.
Homemade Strawberry Cream Popsicles
Made 6 popsicles, using Tovolo brand molds
2 1/2 cups of stemmed and chopped fresh strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor until fruit is pureed and all is well blended. A blender is best, but I had to use our food processor since our neighbor borrowed our blender late one night for some boozy margarita fun. The processor will work in a pinch. Pour the blended mixture into molds, insert sticks, and place in freezer until firm. You should allow at least 8 hours.
This is really easy, so I encourage you to experiment with the process and different fruits. You can adjust the sugar to your taste and use all milk, instead of a combination with yogurt to equally delicious results.
A note on the lack of preciseness: I don't have a kitchen scale yet, so I couldn't weigh the strawberries. Because of that, this recipe is not exact. I mean, we each cut our strawberries slightly differently and they contain different amounts of liquid so just consider this a rough proportion.
In case you were wondering, here are the popsicle molds we used...
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