Everybody has a favorite fruit and mine is strawberries. Ever since I was a little girl, I LOVED strawberries. In fact when I was a child, we would pick strawberries to earn money. Every spring, just after school let out for summer break, we would catch the bus that would take us to the strawberry field. My brother and I would go together. I was in the third grade, he the fifth. We’d catch the bus bright and early at 4:30am and the bus would bring us back home around 2:30-3:00 o’clock each day. This would happen six days a week and would last 3-4 weeks each spring. My brother and I had to pick the same row – the row boss called it side-by-each – because we wouldn’t pick the berries clean and that was supposed to help us do a better job. Really what it did was put me in a closer proximity to my brother. I was his favorite target & he would pelt me with strawberries when no one was looking!
Good looking pair huh? And what about those pants I’m wearing? Flowers go good with stripes, right? Styling!
When I was in the third grade we moved out to the country. When we moved, I begged Mom and Dad for a kitty and they got me this beautiful little kitten I named Peanuts. I loved that cat! Well…begging them for a cat worked and so the next thing I wanted was a horse. Dad said NO! I begged & pleaded, but there was no changing their minds. I didn’t understand. We had plenty of property – it just didn’t make any sense! They said if I wanted to a horse, I would have to befriend the neighbor who had a beautiful horse in the field next to us named Babe, and that’s what I did. Looking back I’m pretty sure they made the right choice!
After the horse thing blew over I began obsessing about a piano. I loved listening to Elton John and I was convinced that if I only had a piano, I would be able to play like him. Then it started again; Please….please can I have a piano? No, Dad said – we can’t afford one. It went back and forth for a couple of weeks until finally Dad said, if you can earn enough money picking strawberries you can buy your own piano.
Okay. That made perfect sense to me. All I had to do was let’s see….doing the math in my head….I would get 1.50 cents for each “flat” of strawberries (12 full boxes), that means I would need to pick 300 flats to earn about $450. I asked Dad if that sounded about right and he said yes. He also said if I did make enough money to buy a piano, they would pay for lessons as long as I wanted to play! Wow, he really upped the ante there!
I was young – eight years old, didn’t know any better, so I set to work! I picked really hard that spring and I made $366 – that’s 266 flats of strawberries! Might not sound like a lot of money to you, but I was a child and to me I was RICH!
I started looking in the paper for a piano and found an old upright for $300. I pointed it out to my folks. Dad hemmed and hawed…Mom shook her head, but they both agreed they had promised, so off we went to look at the piano!
It was perfect! (Check out that hairy toy on top of the piano, awesome!)
It was everything I ever wanted!!! They borrowed a truck from a friend and loaded up all 350 lbs. of it and brought it home! It became my newest obsession. I loved to play the piano and true to their promise, Mom and Dad paid for lessons.
They paid for lessons for twelve years – I always thought I made out like a bandit, but in reality I think they enjoyed sitting in the living room and listening to me practice. Our whole family is very musical and there is something special about making music with friends and family!
Okay….back to the strawberries! You’d think after years of sitting in the berry fields, picking strawberries I’d seen enough, but that’s truly not the case. Strawberries are still my most favorite fruit in the world. When others reach for pie or cake for dessert, I’m happiest with a bowl full of strawberries – nothing else! In my opinion they do not need anything to accompany them! Nope, no sugar or cream, just strawberries!
And they are in season now!
The first thing I made this year, was Strawberry Jam. Jam just isn’t that hard to make. From start to finish, you can have this done in less than an hour. It yields 12 4oz. jars of jam, perfect for you and your family and lovely to give as a gift!
Well, just because I like strawberries plain, that doesn’t mean everyone does! My hubby in particular, you’ve heard me say this before, has quite the sweet tooth and I try to indulge him every now & then. And in my quest to clean out my freezer I found a contain of cool whip and in the pantry…a ready-made graham cracker pie crust. That got me to thinking…and with that and a jar of jam created Dreamy Strawberry Pie.
This is simple and even for a no-bake-kinda-gal like myself, came together in a snap! Give it a try, I hope you enjoy it!
Dreamy Strawberry Pie
Dreamy Strawberry Pie - this is simple no-bake pie. Even for a no-bake-kinda-gal like me it came together in a snap!
- 1 8 oz jar strawberry jam
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 8 oz cool whip
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 pre-made graham cracker crust
- sliced almonds and strawberries to garnish
- In a mixing bowl, combine the strawberry jam, cream cheese & lemon. Mix at low speed until it's completely combined. This takes a bit longer than you thinking, about 4-5 minutes.
- When the mixture is completely combined, add in the cool whip and continue mixing at medium speed until all ingredients are completely incorporated and it's light & smooth.
- Spoon the mixture into the graham cracker crust & smooth it out.
- Garnish the top with sliced almonds and and tuck it in the freezer.
- Remove it and refrigerate about an hour before serving - garnish with some strawberries before serving. This is so easy and really tasty! Enjoy!
p.s. I also bought my first car with my strawberry picking $$’s. It was a 1966 Volkswagen Bug – $600 bucks! 🙂