For my daughter’s thirtieth birthday, I offered to hang out with my three-year-old grandson, Benaiah, so that Jenifer’s hubby could treat her royally during this milestone birthday. It was such a sacrifice for me – haha – but anything for my daughter, right?
I’m quite certain I had the most fun of all, but one of our special adventures over the time together took us to a “you-pick” strawberry farm not far from our house. I’d planned ahead to make the trip to the next county for berries, checking on the timing for ripe berries and opening and closing time for picking. I’d also ordered a couple of fun picture books about strawberries to have on hand following our adventure.
After a short drive that morning, row after row of lush green plants on raised beds greeted us when we entered the farm. Bright, red berries dangled from the vines and beckoned us down the path.
When our bucket held enough juicy, ripe berries to meet our needs, we trekked back to the shop to pay. My grandson wanted to munch on our pickings, but he’d also spotted the chickens and ducks and goats nearby. We fed the animals, with the owner’s permission, cleaned our hands, washed a handful of berries, and snacked in the car before leaving.
Benaiah prefers strawberries raw and fresh-sliced, but I made a mental note to include him in some kitchen fun the next time we got the opportunity to pick fresh berries. We have a favorite Quick-Fruit Cobbler recipe that I prepare for my husband often, using different berries each time.
The recipe is simple and yummy, with several steps that kids of all ages can accomplish.
If you’re looking for a fun, seasonal activity to do with the kids or grandkids, check out you-pick farms in your area or get info on a local farmer’s market. Gather the kiddos for a morning of berry- or fruit-picking, snack on a few fresh from the vine, and use the rest to make the recipe below. Continue the fun with related books like we did—I’ve included examples below, too.
Quick Fruit Cobbler
- 1 stick butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- Dash of salt
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 ½ cups fruit
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a rectangular baking dish. While butter is melting, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and milk. Remove the pan from oven and pour the flour mixture evenly over the butter. Do not stir! Spread a layer of fruit on top of the flour mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden in color.
Books to go with picking and cobbler making:
- Watch a Strawberry Grow, by Kirsten Chang
- The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story, by Joseph Bruchac
- The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry & the Big Hungry Bear, by Audrey Wood
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle
- More Blueberries! Board Book, by Susan Musgrave
- Blueberries For Sal, by Robert McCloskey
- Jamberry, by Bruce Degen
- If You Give a Moose a Muffin, by Laura Numeroff
- Mr. McGee and the Blackberry Jam, by Pamela Allen
- Purple Delicious Blackberry Jam, by Lisa Westberg Peters
- Peach and Plum: Here We Come, by Tim McCanna
Enjoy these fun books with your berry of choice!
Give the kids seasonal memories to treasure and help them appreciate God’s special creations, too. Before snacking on the cobbler, be sure to say Grace, thanking God for the delicious food He gives us.
If you have fun berry-picking memories, will you share them with me?
Give the kids seasonal memories to treasure! Berry-picking fun from @JLavenderwrites #recipe #familyTweet