Designing collections essentially means that you’re always thinking at least a full season ahead..usually 6 months or more! This happens so often, that I sometimes forget to live at least a little bit in the season we’re in right this moment.
Not wanting summer to completely pass me by without notice, I took advantage of the beautiful weather and went strawberry picking with my guy. I’ve been wanting to do this since May; needless to say, it was long overdue! We packed a lunch and headed west towards Highway 1, to Swanton Berry Farm in Pescadero – a cute little town along the California coast. Swanton’s has two strawberry fields to choose from. One field is north of the farmstand, and overlooks the ocean. The second field is adjacent to the farmstand itself. We chose the field overlooking the Pacific. Wouldn’t you?
Sadly, I didn’t remember to bring my camera, but we did get a couple of pics on the cell phone.
These berries have a pretty amazing view, don’t you think?
Pretty little strawberry blossoms..
We ended up coming home with 6 pounds of strawberries! Not wasting any time, this weekend I made a batch of strawberry jam, strawberry butter, and strawberry cake. We’ll be having strawberries on our salad today, and will freeze the remaining berries for using later on. (Maybe strawberry rhubarb jam?)
The strawberry cake:
My only regret is that we did not have any vanilla ice cream, or whipped cream. Darn. This recipe was ideal, because it only makes one pan of cake – perfect for two people! (Or four, if you feel like sharing…) Here’s the recipe, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s website:
- Yield Makes one 10-inch cake
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
- Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.
- Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
- Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days.