When my third child, Norah, turned three she requested a strawberry-themed birthday. Or, as she called it, a "straw-baby" birthday. I obliged.
It was a simple gathering of friends for cake and bubbles, but we went all out. We wore DIY felt strawberry hair clips, ate strawberry shortcakes, wore pink, decorated with red, and topped it all off with a strawberry cake decorated with plastic Strawberry Shortcake figurines and pink jelly beans in the shape of an "N" for Norah.
I have always tried to have a theme for my children's birthdays, particularly when they were little. It gave me something to latch on to and run with. Paper plates in the right color to coordinate with the theme. Decorations. Flavors. Games. You name it, I loved having a theme around which to center a party.
This week feels a lot like the "Straw-baby" party for Norah. I hope you enjoy this collection of strawberry-themed content!
I am not here to convince you to dive into canning or preserving. Both of those are a lot of work and not on my list of summer projects this year.
I am here to talk you into trying a batch of homemade skillet jam. Why? Because there is nothing better than homemade jam made with fresh fruit, and skillet jam turns a messy multi-hour process into a manageable task that takes less time than you think. You can do this.
Skillet jam is not like regular jam. It's fast. Easy. One pan. I swear, if you get the jam cooking on the stove, in the time it takes you to brew a pot of coffee, cook eggs, and put the bread in the toaster, you will have hot jam ready to slather on your toast.
I wrote an entire blog post on the process(with photos to help you follow along in the cooking process!), and I promise this recipe is worth it. As an added bonus, this would make a great afternoon activity with your children. They can "help" with the stirring, and then you can turn it into a snack. Summer is all about finding ways to keep everyone occupied. Why not try skillet jam this week and see how it goes?
Whether you make lemonade from scratch, buy it in a bottle, or stash your freezer with the tubes of frozen concentrate, you must make lemonade at least once this summer. It's a required summer activity.
To make it even better, and to add a fruit-themed twist to your pitcher of ice cold lemonade, slice up about a cup of strawberries and place them in the pitcher for a bit. If you have one of those pitchers with the built in agitators that you plunge up and down, even better. If not, give the strawberries a firm mashing with a wooden spoon down in the bottom of the pitcher (also called muddling).
Very quickly the fruit will begin to release color and flavor into the lemonade. The yellow hue will give way to a beautiful shade of pink, and now you're basically Martha Stewart.
I love to serve strawberry lemonade in cute clear cups with lots of ice and a striped straw. It elevates the everyday and brings a touch of something special to whomever you decide to serve. Maybe it's your children. Maybe it's your mom's group. Maybe it's yourself on the back porch with a book and thirty minutes to yourself.
Savor each sip, drink in the color, and enjoy a summer strawberry treat.
If you asked me to pick my favorite movie, I would consider this as a contender for the title. I love Waitress. It's cute. It's easy to watch. It's about pie and babies and learning to take care of yourself. It's also been turned into a musical, and the songs are fan-freaking-tastic.
When my youngest was a baby, I sang her "The Pie Song" every night. It became our song. This line is what qualifies this movie to be included in Strawberry Week:
"...Gonna make a pie from heaven above
Gonna be filled with strawberry love..."
Strawberries by Joyce Carol Oates
"...Picking strawberries, I’m the fastest, frantic to finish a row careless as in a race, always to be the first, and careless, bruising fruit, picking stems, leaves, coming to abhor the touch of strawberries, how seeds are stippled in the flesh, rough as a cat’s tongue and some of the strawberries are weirdly shaped, greeny-white and never to ripen, other strawberries are soft-rotted from the inside, female fruit leaking watery-runny red juice...."
We've all heard the song a million time. But have you ever watched the music video? Yeah, me neither. Until now.
Give it a watch, and then please help me out. What exactly is going on here?
From what I can tell we are building a giant spider web out of piano strings while pausing for moody ultra close up shots of our faces and then doing cool camera tricks for fun.
I'm not afraid to admit I do not understand even a little bit what is happening in this video, but it is good for a giggle.
STRAWBERRY FUN FACTS
Strawberries are technically not berries. They are accessory fruits.
Strawberries are the only fruit with seeds on the outside.
The average strawberry has 200 seeds.
Strawberries are members of the rose family.
Cutting strawberries under water causes them to spoil faster.
Strawberries have more vitamin C than oranges.
I am always looking for cute ways to make my basic uniform (jeans and a white shirt) cute and seasonal. Strawberry Vans might be the perfect themed.
Slip on. Pink. Cute red berries. Just kitschy enough to work. Berry cute indeed!
Do you need a new snack in your arsenal?
Saltines. Nutella. Sliced Strawberries. Don't let the simplicity fool you. One bite and you will be wowed. Your children will be hooked. You will be crowned a genius.
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