Yesterday I discovered that you can do U Pick and not by physically uncomfortable! The (wonderful, atypical) cool weather we are having meant I took Ian, Fiona, their friend Nick and my mom (aka Granny Jan) out to Rowe's Produce Farm to pick a peck of peas and some strawberries and I didn't sweat buckets! And the kids didn't start complaining after 5 minutes that they were hot and wanted to go home! I've dragged these kids on many a U Pick adventure, but we've never worn long pants and never left the fields still feeling sane (though I always leave feeling a little full...)
Because my kids are strange, they were much more enthusiastic about picking peas than strawberries. Peas are the only green vegetable they eat. Ian ate one and said "Yummy!" which I think I have waited about 6 years to hear (since he decided at age 2 to become a conservative eater). We only got him to try peas again last summer and he realized that despite being green, they are not evil.
Besides, you can also pretend to have a long green nose with a pea...who knew they provided such entertainment value!
Then we headed over to the strawberry field and I helped my mom pick a load of strawberries for her to make jam (I'm too lazy to make my own and she's a nice mom and gives me some).
I brought home about a quart of berries just for snacking, but I didn't need too many because as I mentioned, my kids are strange and don't eat strawberries (they will eat strawberry jam.) But their friend Nick loves strawberries almost as much as he loves arugula (yup, a 5 year old who eats plain arugula like my kids eat potato chips). So while Fiona and Ian played in the dirt, Nick kept me and Granny Jan company and I got the gratifying view of a boy with strawberry juice dripping down his chin:
Once I told Nick that anything he ate in the field was free (the foolish farm owners didn't weigh him on the way in and on the way out!) he went a little crazy. I hope he didn't have a tummy ache later.
For dinner I made a pasta dish that just screams "Spring!":
It's whole wheat spaghetti, ricotta, lots of snipped basil, thyme and oregano, some garlic sauteed in olive oil (I wish I'd had some of my green garlic, but couldn't make the trip over to the garden to pick some), a lot of ground black pepper, and those glorious peas. I wanted to preserve the perfection of the peas so I didn't really cook them: I just put the shelled peas in the bottom of the colander and when the spaghetti was done, I drained it over the peas. It was even briefer than blanching. I ate two heaping bowls of this and plan to eat the same thing all weekend, at least until my pea supply runs out!