Wednesday, June 24, 2009

feast and famine

Because I try to only eat local foods I spend most of the year without fresh strawberries. With the convenience of local grocery stores most people don't realize that in this area the strawberry season is actually really short. If I buy early and late strawberries (that are very expensive and not very good) I could probably stretch the season out for maybe a month and a half. Unfortunately I'm too cheap for that so I only buy strawberries in the peak of their season which means I'm lucky if I have fresh strawberries for 3 weeks. Yes, that means that I only eat fresh strawberries for 3 weeks out of the year and no, I'm not crazy.

One of the things I value about eating locally is that it forces me to feast and fast. I really think creation was designed to force us to feast on delicious food when it's in season and then have what I would call a time of "fasting" when that food is out of season. Instead of following this pattern it often seems that Americans feast every day which causes us to appreciate the goodness of our food less. A feast doesn't seem quite as special when you spend every day feasting.

My husband and I have been anticipating strawberry season for months now. Last year was the first year that we ate only local strawberries and so we hadn't been ready for the short season. I honestly expected local strawberry season to go along with the amount of time strawberries are super cheap at the grocery store (which is practically all summer). We didn't feast as we should have during our two weeks of fresh strawberries to hold us off for an entire year without them.

So this year we feasted properly! The first day I came back with strawberries from the farmer's market we each had a bag with lunch and then I made strawberry shortcake for after dinner. The next day I had strawberries and yogurt for breakfast, plain strawberries with my lunch and leftover strawberry shortcake after dinner. In two days we ate 3 quarts of strawberries! Since then I've made all my favorite things to have with strawberries: ribbon of chocolate pie (pie crust with chocolate chips on the bottom, then a custard filling and strawberries on top), chocolate fondu, ect. And let me tell you it is good!! Eating strawberries non-stop for two weeks really forces me to focus on them and appreciate just how delicious they are. So even though its no fun to be salivating over grocery store strawberries in mid-December the time of feasting that I await makes it all worthwhile!

Strawberry Shortcake:

Ribbon of Chocolate Pie:

You may have noticed I threw in the word "fresh" a lot. I do cheat a little - I freeze strawberries every summer so that we can have some for the long winter months. I assure you though - it is not the same as eating them fresh! It does help when you're really craving them though. Here's some strawberries all vacuum sealed and ready to go in the freezer.


  1. Thanks for stopping over today, Jill. And I'm glad I repaid the visit just in time to see beautiful strawberries! Love 'em.

  2. Glad you liked the strawberries Sam and thank YOU for stopping by! :)


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