California's Strawberry Dreamin'


"Yum. Yum, yummy, yummy, yum, yum." That is a direct quote from my 3 year old daughter when she bit down into her first summer strawberry. It sounded remarkably familiar, as I remember saying something like it as a child. For a little while we lived in a house with a large garden, and my brother and I eagerly awaited the strawberry ripening. When at last we were allowed to pluck the ripe sweet-tart berries, the generally approving noises were quite the same as my Liv's.

There is nothing in this whole world that quite compares to strawberries. It's nearly impossible to finad a kid who doesn't love them. The best strawberries, though? They come from California, thanks largely due to the California Strawberry Commission.

The California strawberry industry developed a comprehensive food safety program in 1996 to provide consumers with the highest level of confidence in California strawberries.

Some neat California Strawberry Facts

  • Total California strawberry acreage: 35,696 acres.

  • If all the strawberries produced in California this year were laid berry to berry, they'd wrap around the world 15 times.

  • 87% of the strawberries consumed in America are grown and harvested in California!

  • Within 24 hours of harvest, the strawberries are loaded on refrigerated trucks for delivery to local supermarkets across the country, so that the berries reach consumers in fresh-from-the-field condition.

  • The California Strawberry industry eploys more than 80,000 men and women.

  • California grew over 14 billion strawberries just last year!

  • Packed with Vitamin C, and with no fat, California strawberries are an incredibly healthy snack!

If you're interested in more great facts about strawberries, or the Calfornia Strawberry Commission, check out their website,

Also, if you've got kiddos chomping at the bit to jump on your computer, (hey, mine is!) you could direct them Strawberryville, a super-cute and fun, kid-friendly site, geared toward 5 - 7, and 8 - 12 year olds. There are games, nutrition facts and strawberry-related trivia that's guaranteed to provide some wholesome distraction.

I thought I might go ahead and include a strawberry recipe. I think you'll love it! ('Cause it tastes soooo yummy, and it's like ridiculously easy to make.)

Balsamic Strawberries 'n Ice Cream


1 tablespoon butter
2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the strawberry halves, sugar, and balsamic vinegar. Cook until the strawberries are heated through.
Place scoops of ice cream into pretty dessert bowls.
Spoon strawberries over the ice cream and serve.

The balsamic vinegar really brings out the sweetness of the strawberry, but somehow mellows it at the same time.

The best way to store fresh strawberries is in a large container with a dry paper towel at the bottom. (Don't wash them until ready to eat, or cook with, in order to prevent mold.) Just before using, wash strawberries with cold water, but gently. Strawberries taste best at room temperature, so let them warm up on the counter before serving.

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