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Strawberry Picking (and a Strawberry Crisp)

May 18, 2010
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In the summer I love picking fruit.  It was one of my most favorite things to do in Moldova, and it was there that I last went strawberry picking (which was four years ago).  I ate so many that I swore I’d never eat strawberries ever again.

Yeah, right.

On Sunday I went strawberry picking at Shlagel Farm and now I have nearly 12 pounds of strawberries in the freezer at home.  Needless to say, this will not be the only strawberry recipe you’ll see here over the next couple of weeks! 

These strawberries were grown on raised beds, which meant that they were less dirty than I’d expected.  Strawberries, because of their weight, tend to lie flat on whatever surface they’re grown on, so the raised beds covered in black plastic are optimal.  I imagine that also helps with the weeds; I can’t be certain though as I know literally nothing about gardening. What I do know is that less dirty/sandy strawberries are optimal for eating while picking, especially when they’ve been warmed by the sun and are extra sweet.  I think there may be some kind of rule against eating while you pick, since it means you buy less because you already ate them…. but as far as I’m concerned, eating while you pick is probably the best part!  Heck, those strawberries were my breakfast. 

My favorite way to eat strawberries is to eat them raw, or to slice up a couple handfuls and drizzle them with some good balsamic.   I froze the majority of them, however, so that I’ll be able to keep them around for longer than their 4 or 5-day shelf life!  I already have grand plans for these strawberries, but I wanted to start off with something simple.  Mostly because I was hungry and tired.  There’s nothing like instant gratification!

Fruit crisps/crumbles are my go-to method for making a quick fruit dessert and I was more than happy to usher in the start of the summer fruit season with this one.  Previously I made a very yummy strawberry crostata, but for that you need pie crust (which is a VERY dangerous thing to have lying around) and for this all you need is oatmeal, fruit, sugar and some butter or oil.  And preferably some vanilla ice cream, which, for me, is another dangerous thing to keep in the house, but this is right-darn-tasty even without ice cream!

Strawberry Crisp

If you don’t like ginger, you can leave it.  I may have gone a little overboard because I LOVE candied ginger, but Nate doesn’t.  I might wind up eating this whole thing single-handedly…

Topping:

2/3 c uncooked oatmeal

1/4 c flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 c packed brown sugar

1/4 c vegetable oil

Fruit:

3 c rinsed, hulled and halved strawberries

2 tbsp diced candied ginger

2 tbsp flour

2 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8 x 8 square baking dish.

Mix together the dry ingredients for the topping, and then add in the oil.  Stir until the ingredients are moistened.

Combine the ingredients for the fruit filling, about pour into the baking dish. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit, and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is bubbly and the topping is brown.

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