A couple of years ago I wrote about my memories of blueberry picking each summer. In fact, I reprized that role just last week so that I could pack fresh, Oregon blues to share with family in Idaho.
But this berry adventure? Well, we're going on a wild strawberry hunt. First, you'll need some transportation. Most anything will do, but a topless jeep sure makes for a fun ride:
You'll also need picking vessels. No buckets here, folks. Paper cups? Just the right size.
Next, find yourself a secluded and overgrown patch of brush along the river. It helps if you have an expert scout in your party. In our case, my mother has been summering in Island Park since the late 1930s, so she knew right where to look.
Now, get yourself familiar with the shape of the plant you're looking for. Once you've found one, lift the branches and look close to the ground for the berries. Don't see any? Me neither. Don't get discouraged. We'll find some eventually.
Ahh,look! Two ripe berries!! Expecting more? Tsk, tsk. This is going to be a lesson in patience and diligence, my friend. Repeat plant checking steps listed above for 1 hour...
...and this is what you'll have at the end of your labors!
Now, get yourself speedily back to camp so that you can clean and chill your berries before the summer heat renders them to nothing more than juicy pulp.
It helps to use a small colander. It will make the berries appear larger and more plentiful. Watch out for sneaky little hands that want to steal them.
Now we're getting to the good part. Fold your berries into some egg whites that have been whipped with sugar. Place this concoction into a graham cracker crust and try to wait until after supper...
Make sure to save a few berries to sprinkle on top!
Mmm, enjoy the fruits of your labors!
1. In a bowl, beat 2-3 egg whites until peaks form.
2. Continue beating egg whites while adding 1/2 cup sugar.
3. Fold in 2-3 cups of fresh raspberries or wild strawberries.
4. Pour mixture into prepared graham cracker crust.