we are here

by breannruthwhite

And now. After months and months of planning then un-planning and treading through the unpleasant unknown, we are here.

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With much help from our amazing friends and family, we moved 4th of July weekend into yet another farm house, located just a half a mile down a gravel road and not really close to anything. We have an unbelievably huge entry way, old, green carpet, a beautiful bay window that showers us with light every morning, a thick grove of trees, and kittens in the barn. I have been suffering a bit from laundry-withdrawal. But thanks to another set of family friends, a solution is on its way (we purchased our own! Are we grown-ups or what?). And though we went through a bit of a rough-transitional patch with our toddler, I think we are well on our way to feeling very at home.

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Which leads me to thank everyone who helped us move on their holiday weekend. My mother and father-in-law are the dynamic moving duo. Their donated time was sandwiched between two busy work days, but they made the 4.5 hour trip here to conquer some heavy lifting and see their grandbaby. My own mom and dad have helped immensely with the drawn-out processes of moving; cleaning, unpacking, babysitting, cleaning. And we have some great friends who stopped by to carry boxes, who babysat my kid while I packed, and lent us their trailers and trucks.

Seriously. Moving can be ugly. But this last weekend went incredibly well thanks to you.

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I have a thick stack of recipes and pictures I have been meaning to share with you. My half-finished books and projects are on the shelves collecting dust. I think my son is just waiting for me to blink away this goofy, post-moving daze floating through my eyes. So I will keep things simple today. Anyway, my baby is bound to wake up anytime now. And with his sweet, agreeable skin long shed, the new, willful, stubborn toddler attitude leaves me needing to a few minutes of shut-eye before nap time ends. So without further adieu…

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My son and I picked a whole bunch of strawberries before leaving our last rental, which was located about a mile and a half from a lovely strawberry patch. After, we washed, hulled and froze a few pounds of them, then zipped through several fresh strawberry recipes that I had been meaning to try. I also remembered a recipe I had been eyeing on Luisa’s blog, the Wednesday Chef, on roasting strawberries, and decided there was not time like the present.

I started with 1 ½ pounds strawberries, then hulled and cut them in half lengthwise if they seemed large enough.  I then scattered them in a large baking pan and added about 1/4 cup of sugar and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. I mixed it up and then spread the berries out evenly. I set the oven to 375 F for 45 minutes and rotated the pan halfway through, but only sort of shook the strawberries a little instead of stirring them.

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This leaves you with soft, dark ruby berries and an amazing red sauce that spoons well over yogurt (or, you know, ice cream). We treated this recipe like a jam and spread it over French toast the following morning. Oatmeal the next. And just like that, the roasted strawberries were gone.

You could try adding a few additions (cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, peppercorn, citrus) but they were truly wonderful the way they were.

 

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