One of the greatest pleasures of a British summer is picking your own strawberries. And if you live in north London, that means heading out to Parkside Farm PYO in nearby Enfield.
I must confess to never having been to a PYO before. I was brought up on strawberries from the garden – being one of five children there were never enough to go round. But with the kids on a rare inset day from school and the farm relatively deserted, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to pick. We arrived at the farm and collected our punnets and were strictly told not to eat the fruit before we had weighed it.
I could not believe the luxury of rows and rows of strawberries that you could dance down picking only the perfect ones.
The strawberries grow at table-top height – perfect for little ones to run underneath, scooping up handfuls of strawberries, even better for preserving my creaky back – you don’t have to bend down to pick, nor do you get caught up in bird netting.
Parkside is a large fruit and veg farm just off the unpromising A10, but opposite the very lovely Trent Park. It’s a little bit of countryside close to the capital, and perfect for a day out. And the children loved it. They loved the space. They loved making sure they got the really red berries.
Oddly though, they refused to eat any (I ate loads!). Do you think perhaps this generation is more law-abiding than ours?
We eventually headed home with a glut of strawberries – and my kitchen has been bubbling away with the sweet smells of my strawberry jam making efforts ever since!
I rather wish I’d known about this recipe for roasted strawberries. It’s a sort of cheats jam, and keeps well for several days in the fridge.
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. It is important to use a baking tray with a lip or a large baking dish to prevent the juices from running off the sheet on to the bottom of your oven. If you are using a baking tray, line it with parchment paper.
- Cut the strawberries in half. Put the berries on the tray and pour over the olive oil, maple syrup and the salt, toss gently around the tray until coated.
- Arrange the strawberries in a single layer and roast for about 40 minutes, just long enough for the berry juices to thicken, but not long enough for the juices to burn. Watch the edges of the pan in particular. While still warm, scrape into a jar and put in the fridge.
(Recipe taken from Anna Jones in Guardian Food & Drink: Chia Breakfast Bowls and Bircher Muesli Recipes)
The last of our Strawberry prints are now in the Summer Sale. Have a browse through and take your pick while they last > Shop the Summer Sale
Written by Delia Peel