Yes indeed, strawberries are one of my all-time favorite fruits. Always have been. As a kid I loved going to Maine’s small-town strawberry festivals–falling somewhere between the last of the lupine and the Fourth of July. There I could get strawberry shortcake, or fresh-churned strawberry ice cream, and there would often be an old-timey band playing in the town bandstand. This year we didn’t make it out to any strawberry festivals, but the boys and I have been having our own little strawberry party in our back yard this year–and it’s been going on for several days. With so many trip out to Broadturn farm for picking (I’ve been–ahem–four times now) we’ve had a seemingly non-stop supply of berries to be washed and stemmed and preserved. Or rather, eaten immediately, stems and all, if Ian has his way. He adores the sourness that comes along with the sweetness of a fresh, plain berry, while Connor, on the other hand, is not so sure. He keeps trying them and wants to love them, but sometimes they’re just too sour for his liking. Friends and family are always a bit surprised to learn that he is mixed on fresh strawberries, and frankly, I am, too. (What!?! A son of mine not adoring strawberries?!?) But, one thing Connor loves to do unequivocally is to help me wash and prep the strawberries–especially when we can do it in the back yard. And, I have to say that this is by far my favorite way to do it as well–what could be better than preparing delicious, fresh berries for jam, the freezer,or dessert, snacking on them along the way, and doing it all outside on a glorious, balmy summer afternoon? Not much.