Three years ago, I started a strawberry bed in our backyard. I don't have a lot of sunny open spots in my yard so I had Paul rip out some old rose bushes that were against the house and not doing too well. He then made a small raised bed for me and we filled it with dirt. I started with five plants and have added a few since then. The last two years I didn't get too many berries but this year I got LOTS!
|We got at least a bowl full of strawberries every day for a couple of weeks|
I think it also helped that Paul surrounded the bed with chicken wire so the birds and critters couldn't steal the berries - this definitely helped a lot!
|It may not look pretty, but it's effective!|
I wanted to keep my bed organic so I just used a little Blood Meal as fertilizer and I think it did the trick. Although, I think the vibrant green leaves were a bit tempting to some silly little insects that would try and eat the leaves. But all in all it did well considering I didn't use anything to control the little pests.
We had plenty of strawberries to eat every night and sometimes we had more than we could eat so I froze them. I experimented with new recipes like strawberry shortcake, strawberry crepes, strawberries and ice cream, etc. They were all good but none matched the new strawberry pie recipe I tried.
Click HERE for the recipe for "IceBox Strawberry Pie" if you're interested. I got the recipe from Cook's Country after watching them make it on our PBS station one Saturday afternoon. I didn't use their pie crust recipe though - I used my favorite one that I've been using for years. I got it from an old cookbook that belonged to a family I worked for in college.
My Favorite Pie Crust
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 t. salt
- 2/3 cup + 2 T. shortening
- 4-5 T. cold water (I use ice water to make sure it's really cold)
Mix flour and salt. Cut in shortening a little at a time until crumbly. Sprinkle in water 1 T. at a time until pie dough forms. Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin on a floured surface. Place in pie plate and bake at 350 degrees until light golden brown (it took around 30 minutes). This recipe is supposed to make enough for a 2 crust pie and you only need one crust for this recipe but I make the whole thing anyway. You can freeze the other crust, eat it, or bake it with cinnamon and sugar for a yummy snack!
I LOVE strawberry season and I'm curious to see what my strawberry patch will do next year and what yummy creations I get to try.