In my continual quest to show my brood that food doesn’t grow on grocery store shelves, in conjunction with my desire to save money on produce whilst flying under the child labor law radar, we went strawberry picking this week.
I’m trying to get you to believe that I’m this do-awesome-stuff-feed-my-kids-right-awesomely-incredible homeschooling mom, but really it was about getting the hell out of the house for a few hours and finding something different to do that wasn’t going to end with me paying a bunch of late fees to the library.
Maxine, who will not eat a strawberry even if was hand picked by Barbie herself and served up on a My Little Pony platter, delighted in the task of picking red berries and hunting them down like Easter eggs.
Who’s hiding these Easter eggs anyway? They are everywhere yo!
She did this exact thing after every strawberry she picked. Pull up a chair, we’re gonna be here a while.
OK gang, do you see how many green baskets I’ve filled? It’s time to pick up the pace here girls, my one armed grandmother picks strawberries faster than you! I want those fingers stained red! With strawberry juice! And blood! No rest for the weary! Is it any wonder they don’t pay kids very much?
After 40 minutes in the field I was now $20 poorer (could’ve just gone to the library) but one flat of strawberries richer!
I fully admit that a large percentage of our hand picked berries were devoured during the prep process. When not playing one for you, one for me with the bowl, I busied myself with scalping strawberry heads and tried to figure out what I might do with these red beauties. Not wanting to go the well traveled Strawberry Shortcake route, I bypassed Strawberry Shortcake Lane and instead took the Strawberry Salsa Turnpike, picking up a couple of other tropical fruit hitch hikers along way.
Strawberry Mango Pineapple Salsa
2 c finely diced strawberries
3/4 c finely diced mango
3/4 c finely diced pinapple
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
Juice from one lime
2 Tbsp dried cilanto (fresh would have been better)
1/4 c rice vinegar
salt to taste
Combine ingredients in a large bowl and refrigerate for an hour or so before serving.
The fruit proportions are pretty flexible here, use as much or as little you like or have on hand. I would have thrown in a diced jalapeno here too if I’d had one – but sadly, no jalapenos were to be found in my fridge on this day. After mourning the loss of a jalapeno, I rejoiced in the fact that I had a bag of Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno tortilla chips to use as the vehicle for which to travel down Strawberry Salsa Street.
I read a bunch of fruit salsa recipes before concocting mine, and I’ll say that I was really skeptical about fruit with red pepper and onion but it was pretty dang good. The flavors complimented each other well and the jalapeno chips pitched in nicely with a little gas money for our strawberry road trip.
Those spicy little buggers even did their part in keeping small strawberry blood stained hands from returning to the bag!
In short, the moral of today’s story is: Having children does indeed pay off. Just another 2,000 or so flats of strawberries and these babies will have paid for themselves.