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Strawberry Picking

This weekend my family and I were able to venture out of our school and work bubbles and try a new adventure together – strawberry picking!  It was the perfect afternoon outing with our little guy. He loved it! It was like a treasure hunt for him.  “Mommy! Look what I found!” (Even though the plants were covered in strawberries J)

The strawberries were gorgeous! We all loved filling our buckets.  And I thoroughly enjoyed dreaming up things to make with them.  After thirty minutes, ten pounds of strawberries, one jar of strawberry preserves and one fried pie we headed home with our loot. 

Because the mom in me can’t stop trying to turn everything I can into a unit study, we came home and read our well loved “The Little Mouse,The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big, Hungry Bear”.  It belonged to my brothers and me when we were little and I love introducing my boy to the things I loved as a child. 

The fresh strawberries and preserves were calling my name.  I could not bring myself to cook the strawberries right then, because they were so perfect and red and fresh.  I decided to pair them both with almond meringues. Meringues are so light and fluffy and a great way to use any extra egg whites.  They are the perfect sweet, crisp accompaniment to a cup of afternoon coffee. 

4 egg whites
¼ tsp of cream of tartar
½ cup of sugar (or less)
2 tsp of almond extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Blend the egg whites until soft peaks form.  Then, add the cream of tartar.  Add the sugar little by little until stiff peaks form.  Place the egg whites in a frosting bag and pipe onto parchment paper.  Place pan in oven for 5 minutes and then turn off oven and let the meringues sit in the oven for 1 hour. 

They should be dry to the touch and slightly golden.  If they aren’t, heat your oven again, turn it off and let them sit for longer.  This timing really all depends on the weather, altitude, etc.

Finally, pair them with fresh strawberries and a touch of strawberry jam!

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