Thursday, February 26, 2009

Florida Strawberry Season

Winter is usually associated with heavy foods, root vegetables and fragrant spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. But this chilly season also brings with it an unexpected fruit for harvest ... strawberries! Red, ripe, plump, anti-oxidant rich, diet-friendly sweet berries.

Everywhere I go I see signs of strawberry season all over Florida from road side produce stands to the Florida Strawberry Festival. Mount Dora even has a U-pick grove only 2 miles from downtown at Oak Haven Farms. And that's where we went this week and picked enough strawberries to feed a small army! Now I just have to conjure up enough recipes to use all these sweet little berries.

Now, if anyone ever invites you to go strawberry picking and tells you to bring a ladder ... just wink and smile. Strawberries grow on low-lying bushes so you'll more likely benefit from a small stool, knee pad, or appointment with your chiropractor and masseuse in the morning.

There is something I just adore about being outdoors on a farm .... breathing in the fresh air, seeing how food is grown, the contrast of the green plants and the blue sky. The Italians call it Agri-Tourismo. For us I guess its agri-entertainment. Like living the adventure of Discovery Channel show of "Best Jobs" or "How It's Made."

There is nothing like baking something including some fresh fruit picked with your own bare hands! I'll have to get started with the Adora Inn's Strawberry Pizza ... but if you have any other delicious strawberry recipes please comment!


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