Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Strawberries, ah those lusciously juicy and tempting red fruit, exotic and mouth watering. Mostly and I mean mostly save for my traditional at heart and taste father love the fruit. We all have romantic connotations and slurpy dreams the minute strawberries are mentioned, well do you think it also has to do with its red passion color and the heart shape. Everyone from those following a south beach or protein rich or carbohydrate counting diets also can and do add strawberries to their list of fruits to eat. The fruit lends itself to making some of the really yum treats in form of cheese cakes, preserves, glazed, shakes, in cream, squashes and toppings.
So when my sis-in-law suggested we go strawberry picking when I was in Canada, I jumped at the thought of it. However as the picking season (mid June) neared our holidays were also nearing its end, so she searched and crawled the internet and finally did manage to find a place within 20 miles of our home. But but to everything there are detractors like the husband said and in this case it was three not feeling too well little kids, I was reluctant but shilpi my sis-in-law adamant. She was sure it will be a great treat and outing for all including my nature lover and ever ready to try new experiences mum, so after some initial resistance we set on our trip. The weather was lovely and fully cooperative, nice and sunny though not warm.
After a picturesque ride through farms and orchards we reached our destination, and hearts and moods were uplifted and kids were scampering now with, thank god, renewed energy. Anyone with kids can vouch for the fact that if kids are happy and uncranky(is this a word oh well) parents and grandparents enjoy and indulge that much more. Well we reached the so called open barnish looking reception and asked the whats and hows. To our whooping joy the charges were only on the per pound rate of the strawberries we would pick.
We all rushed with our basket to the waiting tractor. Wow from the littlest three year old to the oldest seven year old all the three kids were ecstatic to say the least. We jumped on to the wagon so to say and headed for an experience that will stay with us forever. First we decided on the strategy under the instructions from the experienced farm hand, he pointed to us the areas or the beds where we will find good and plenty strawberries. Also we didn’t want to go too inside the area as the collective little feet would have trampled and crushed the strawberries before they reached the basket. We decided to stay on the periphery.
The kids started picking up and imaging shapes in them arnaav looked for a rabbit shape while arkin discovered a car and arnay was trying to figure out which one to pluck. And in all of that me, shilpi and mum were also busy picking as if there was no tomorrow and well picked loads of it. Suddenly a little tantrum jolted us out of our individual reveries and we separated the two imps only to find and say ok this is the last one, ok now this is the last one, hey look that one is so red and sooo big how can we miss that, ok now arkin stop, stop arnaav, hey look ma another one lets pick that. Finally the lack of space in the basket made us stop and we reached the reception to get them weighed, mum said well they may be 4 pounds on the outset and we almost fainted when the lady said 8 pound, well mum!
Anyway it was a great experience and kids loved it. Now another daunting task was to finish all of those strawberries and that’s what troubled shilpi. But my god the kids were damn excited and asked to eat them the minute we reached the car, what started as one piece, two pieces …went on for a while. It encouraged the kids as they had picked them themselves and the excitement was like as if it was their harvest. Then came strawberry milkshakes, strawberries on the go, and well well the best was strawberries coated with chocolate courtesy of shilpi which she did to perfection. Gosh I am hungry now.

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