Strawberry Shortcuts

June 13th, 2010 | Posted by Alison Spath in Healthy Habits

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.

Strawberry Sign

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.

Child Labor

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.

So Proud

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.

Another One

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?

Get Picking

After 40 minutes in the field I was now $20 poorer (could’ve just gone to the library) but one flat of strawberries richer!

Make a Dent

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 Salsa

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.

Food Should Taste Good Jalapeno

That’ll work.

With Chips

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!

Nibble too_hot

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.

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14 Responses

  • Carbzilla says:

    Love it! They are too adorable. I don’t make jam, but picking them to freeze for my smoothies sounds like a great idea. We have one strawberry pot in the garden, and it’s no where near becoming ripe, but a U-pick may be just the ticket. Probably a little early here in the PNW.

  • Sharon says:

    My Strawberries are ALL GONE!!! I will be heading back to pick more some time this week. I took the triditional route and made Strawberry Shortcake, My fav!

  • z says:

    I can’t believe all the berries on those plants! Next time someone goes, ask them what variety those plants are…

  • Amanda says:

    I wish I had those helpers! My mother and I went picking a little over a week ago and picked 84 pounds of berries. We made jam for two days straight! Nothing beats the taste of a fresh picked strawberry. The salsa sounds wonderful. I’ll have to give that a try. Hopefully the strawberries will be around for a bit longer. Strawberry season is far to short in update New York!

  • Berry season is my favorite part of summer. Looks like you guys had fun!!

    (p.s. love the idea of that salsa recipe…I’m definitely going to have to try it 😀 )

  • Cindy says:

    you do the best things with the girls! So very perfect! they will never forget these fun and simple, down to earth outings.

    so you’re saying Max picked strawberries but didn’t eat any?

    that’s self control!

    I put my last strawberries, tops and all, in my spinach/cucmumber smoothie. it was refreshing but no jalepeno!

  • Jane/you-know-who says:

    Your content is funny as hell, but the picks of my g’daughters……priceless.

  • Barb says:

    You crack me up!! Where did you pick at? I haven’t picked strawberries since I’ve had the girls because I hate the bending over but you’ve inspired me to take them along. I love the idea of child-labor. :)