Saturday, January 26, 2013

Local Goodness...strawberries = summer

Summer has kicked in.
Salads, tomatoes, cucumbers and basil are the flavours of the day.
The water tank is super low.
The whole national park where i live is on high alert for fires.
I had the best swim today.
It's been so hot, it's kinda hard to think clearly.
We're a temperate sort of a place, so this hot, is, well, HOT!
One of the things that mean summer to me are strawberries. I like to go pick every summer and make strawberry jam. I love opening a jar of homemade strawberry jam in the middle of winter and getting a taste of summer. 
Jed and I met dear friends just north of Auckland, at Phil Greig's strawberry farm in Kumeu and had a lovely few hours picking together. They're spray-free (though not organic certified) and damn fine delicious.
They plant the old varieties for the pick-your-own fields...the ones that don't store brilliantly, might be funny shapes and are smaller than the store bought ones...but oh my...the taste! There is nothing like a good strawberry! Those huge, hard strawberries you buy in the punnets here in NZ are often good for nothing but coating with chocolate or whizzing up into smoothies...hardly sweet enough on their own. But these old varieties are just divine. And these folks donated 1500 punnets of strawberries to the Hospice charity strawberry festival fundraiser last year. Good folks.
Plus, they make beautiful icecream, frozen yoghurt and smoothies from fresh strawberries on-site. Perfect for hot little people after a hard mornings strawberry picking (and eating!). I tried super hard not to laugh when we went to weigh in and pay for our bucketfull and Jed was all chatty telling the lady about how many strawberries he'd eaten. An honest fella!

And look, here i am...over HERE. 


  1. yum! I just made strawberry jam today. The kids hit on a great recipe which is strawberries, apples and a small amount of cherry - delicious!

    1. yum indeed! I always put in apple and some fresh lemon juice to help with the pectin and the jam's setting. Love the taste too. Never heard of cherries though- have to beg a taste of yours one day!

  2. your jam looks wonderful, think I have Tuesdays activity planned now, we have been somewhere the last two yrs out that way but this looks closer and has icecream. Not sure if you got my email about maybe catching up on thurs?

  3. I've been blogging about the heat too. Luckily the bach still has water in the tank. Those strawberries look really delicious.

    1. lucky...i have almost given up on the garden, we have so little water in the tank. Strawberries were really quite possibly the best i have tasted, must find out what variety they were. x