Monday, January 28, 2013
Strawberry Snacks Forever
Last week, strawberries were on sale at my local grocery store. For me, there is nothing quite like a beautiful bowl of berries in the middle of January. It's such a refreshing taste of springtime; the invincible spring within me, found in the midst of winter, is made of strawberries. Growing up in Calgary in the eighties, fresh strawberries were rare and expensive, and so we never had them. The most I had in the berry department would have been the frozen-in-light-syrup kind spooned over an angel food cake with whipped cream, or a strawberry shortcake.
What kinds of fruit did you have for snacks when you were growing up? In our house, we had apples and bananas, with Mandarin oranges at Christmastime, and that - other than canned fruit - was pretty much it. Suffice it to say I feel my children are very lucky to have, always, a plethora of fresh fruit to choose from. I am lucky too, since I love fruit.
But strawberries! My children love strawberries; between the three of us we could polish off two pounds a day easily, and maybe more. Just think of all the vitamin C! My immune system perked up just thinking of it.
However, occasionally moderation must prevail, and so I restricted our immediate intake to one bowl each and prepared the remainder for school snacks. For those of us pressed for time during the week - and that is all of us, I suspect - having ready-to-go food items is a must. The single most important rule of lunch making is advance preparation, as Janet said. It's so much easier to just toss a handful of already washed and sliced strawberries into a container than it is to wash and slice those strawberries on a day-to-day basis. The total amount of time might be the same, but there is something overwhelming about the idea that oh, sigh, I need to wash and slice ten strawberries, then do it again tomorrow. The human brain works in mysterious ways.
I spent some time Sunday afternoon baking a deliciously aromatic cinnamon loaf and preparing the strawberries for rapid snack-packing. It took an hour, total, including baking time, and the children's snacks were ready to go for the week.