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Strawberries galore

Berries liven up salads and cakes

Trish VanMeter, along with husband, Danny, and family who live in Clarkson, says, “The craziness starts in April.”

That’s when strawberry season begins. Though the VanMeters grow a wide range of produce, from broccoli and beans to pumpkins and peppers, they are probably best known for their fresh strawberries that ripen sometimes as early as April 3.

Many family cooks might think the craziness comes every day at dinnertime if they had to cook for a family of 11 as Trish does. To cook for that many, Trish keeps it simple and calls for backup. While she makes her lasagna three or four pans at a time, it’s an easy process that uses ground beef, commercial spaghetti sauce, noodles, and cheese. During the growing season, “the most produce we use is what we can pull straight from the field and use. When you’re busy that’s all you have time for.” That means sliced tomatoes, fresh strawberries, and a lot of salads.

Trish freezes whole strawberries that can be used out of season, when life is a little less crazy. Her strawberry cake has been made many times for gifts and special meals. One year she and her daughters made it into cupcakes and packaged it with VanMeter strawberry jam. “It makes a nice little gift,” says Trish.
VanMeter Family Farms is at 164 Old Peonia Loop, Clarkson. Reach them at (270) 242-9056.

Strawberry Cake

Strawberry-Feta Spinach Salad

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