June 15, 2013

Murder In the Fruit Degree!!!

Three billion fruited lives ended on June 10, 2013...

I'm pretty sure this little oinkster is responsible.  ;)  So cute!!!

Okay maybe not ALL that kid.  :)
My aunt, a couple of her friends  and I went strawberry picking this past Monday at Cascadian Farms.  I haven't been berry picking since I was a wee bairn!!!

Cascadian Farms is just west of the Cascade Mountains.  It takes about an hour and a half on Washington Pass to get there.  This pass closes for the winter due to snowfall.  (And then my aunt and her husband go snowmobiling on it!)


Between the four of us, we picked almost 200 POUNDS of berries!!!

You can't really tell in this picture but that kind of haul weathers your hands like nobody's business!  I still have dark red and dirt under my nails and it's been four days!


I also got incredibly car sick on the way over.  Ha! All of those windy roads.  Mountains all around, picturesque epic beauty and I was sipping on ginger ale, eyes closed, with my head on the sweatshirt I stuffed against the window.  I am PARTY TIME CENTRAL in Mazama, Washington, let me tell you.

Thankfully, when we arrived I felt better.  The air up here is just ridiculously fresh.  It was an incredibly perfect, beautiful day.  Summer weather doesn't start here until July so, by late afternoon,  I'm still in a sweatshirt.  I LOVE THAT.  :)

Cascadian Farms, like much of the Methow Valley, is organic.  Folks in Mazama believe in words like 'organic,' 'local' and 'all natural.'  It's in their bones.  It's just the way they do life-- no chemicals, no crap.  They grow produce in their garden and leave nothing to waste. Even Seattle, three & a half hours away, is scoffed at if considered local.  The other day a lady from town came in with TWO FOOT STALKS of rhubarb from her garden.  "Will you gals use this rhubarb?  I've got plenty.  It's taking over my garden!"  It's incredible and inspiring. 

But in all seriousness...
I'm a serial killer of fruit.
I picked.  I murdered.  I beheaded.
I even ate their bleeding red flesh with some nice chianti... 
I also stained my jeans and got a horrible sunburn on my hips.  Note to self:  Don't carry berries in your shirt while wearing low cut jeans.  Your white, tender hip flesh will burn with the vengeance of a thousand angry suns and moving in general will hurt for a week!  Oy vey.
 (I finally got some aloe.  I'm good).

Hey look!  This is what 66 pounds of berries look like in your freezer!!! 


All in all, SUPER FUN DAY!!!  Even with car sickness and sunburns... It felt soooo good to harvest something myself and eat berries straight off the vine.  I may or may not have-- OKAY, WHO ARE WE KIDDING!!???-- I totally made strawberry pie and maple strawberry almond scones... and strawberry shrimp and strawberry spaghetti and strawberry kebobs.  And I guess that's all.  ;)  Next month is raspberry & blackberry picking!  August is all about blueberries.  I'M SOOOO EXCITED!!!  :)  :)  :)

This pie's a little bit country... and a little bit rock and roll!  (I've been doing this the past couple times I've made pie-- my aunt loves a crumb topping and her husband loves the lattice crust.  The people pleaser decided both ways was my only option!!!)

...The survivors of the seasonal harvest called the war Picking Day.  They lived only to face a new nightmare; the war against the harvesters.  (cue Terminator music)

Caught red-handed!  Wocka wocka!!!

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