The days of strawberry fields and farms

A storm was on the way and I could smell it in the air. “We should get to the farm when they open before the rain catches us” I said to the children. They ran to get their shoes.

The humidity, the wind, the heaviness… It was on the way.

Jon and Miren were off from school that Friday and they begged to go discover a new strawberry field. “We’ve gone to so many farms this year” Jon recounted. Yes, we have. The warm winter has been good to Florida growers – plentiful.

We visited Diane a few weeks ago. Jon’s best friend Daisy came along and the three of them picked buckets and buckets of strawberries. Strangely, it rained that day as well as I remember their muddy feet.

We also admired the bees at Sunshine Farms where we even spotted peach trees blooming and we bought delicious raw milk for ice cream. I must go back there to watch the bees one more time. They were hypnotizing.

I remembered the wild strawberries I picked as a child in the Basque Country. The berry compotes and natillas we enjoyed growing up or even the bowl of freshly picked strawberries with a touch of cream.

My grandparents had several patches of strawberry plants all around their front entrance and every Sunday, for only a few short weeks, we loved picking our own berries. Tiny and delicate strawberries that would easily bruise.

I miss them.

We arrived at D&D Farms early. The sun was shinning strong on our shoulders and the field smelled of spring.

Jon held Miren’s hand and guided her through the process of selecting the ripest strawberries. “Only the red ones, Miren. Only pick the super red ones” he said to her. “And you can even smell them to see how ripe they are. See?” he added as he buried his face on his palm full of strawberries.

“Wow…” I thought. He sounds just like me.

We also picked up colorful eggs and heirloom black cherry tomatoes they were selling on their farm stand.

“You know you can go feed the animals right?” the lady at the stand said. As fast as she said the words, Jon and Miren were running. We fed the goats, the chickens, and ducks until the rain finally came down. It was our cue.

Back at home, we rested and spent the rainy afternoon baking. “We should make some scones for Daisy” I turned to Jon. “Yes, they are her favorite, aren’t they” he replied.

Quinoa scones laced with juicy strawberry pieces. Miren kneaded the butter into the flour while Jon whisked the egg mixture. A few more turns and in the oven they went.

Natillas came after, which I made with homemade cashew milk. I have been making all my own nut milks lately and I should definitely write another post about it since I have using them in many different recipes. Cashew milk, sugar, vanilla bean, cardamom, and bright orange egg yolks.

Simple.

Just like how we like it these days.

Strawberry and Quinoa Scones

makes 14 scones

1/2 cup (125 ml) unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp ground chia seeds
2 tbs boiling water
1 1/3 cups (140 g) quinoa flakes (you can use GF rolled oats too), plus more for topping
1 cup (140 g) superfine brown rice flour
1/3 cup (70 g) natural cane sugar
1/2 cup (50 g) almond flour
1/3 cup (40 g) tapioca starch
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
1 egg, whisked lightly
4 ounces (115 g) strawberries, hulled and diced into small pieces
egg wash, to brush on top

In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut milk and lemon juice.

In a small bowl, whisk together the ground chia seeds and boiling water. It will turn into a gel-like mixture. Let it cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the quinoa flakes, superfine brown rice flour, sugar, almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and salt. Add the cold, diced butter and work it between your fingers until the butter is the size of small peas and incorporated into the butter.

Mix the coconut milk, egg, and chia seed gel. Add it to the dry ingredients. Fold together until a dough starts to form. Add the strawberries and knead a few times until the dough comes together. Lightly dust your work surface with superfine brown rice flour. Transfer the dough on top and knead it until it comes together into a rectangle that is approximately 1-inch high. Cut the dough into 2-inch squares and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Re-roll the scraps once.

Refrigerate the scones for 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400F (200C).

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash and sprinkle some quinoa flakes on top (optional). Bake the scones for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes before lifting them from the pan. They are best eaten the same day.


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81 Responses to “The days of strawberry fields and farms”

  1. Joy says:

    your wholesome posts just makes me smile for the rest of my day!

  2. Lynette says:

    Such lovely photos–now I’m longing for summer!

  3. Betsy says:

    How lovely! June is our month for strawberries! We had snow just last week! ha.

  4. Alexandra says:

    Everything looks like a dream. I can see you are turning into a chia addict like me. I feel it’s the most magical of ingredients. It’s the wholesome equivalent of molecular gastronomy, and it’s so incredibly nutritious. Can it get better than that? I use it everything.
    Also, I agree about the homemade nut milks. I actually like pureeing the same volume of water and raw cashews to make cashew cream and it’s sweet and delicious.
    Thanks again for yet another mouthwatering post.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve always wanted to pick strawberries!

  6. Alexis says:

    I’ve been a long time admirer of your blog. This post especially was so lovely. Makes me want to fast forward to summertime!

    http://therelished.com/

  7. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for giving me a little glimpse of summer on this cloudy, wet day. We have a long time before strawberry season here in CO. The scones sound wonderful. I have never seen quinoa flakes. Are they with the oatmeal or in the baking section? I’ve been on a quinoa kick recently and I’d love to try this. Have a great day!

  8. Rikki says:

    I can’t wait for the strawberries to be ready here. Those scones look marvelous!

  9. Lovely spring pictures! I can’t wait to buy the fisrt Swiss strawberries. The scones look delicious.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  10. twoloves says:

    I love the pic of the pots of strawberries sitting in the white basket! Great framing.

  11. Liz says:

    Aran,
    What a wonderful way for me to start Monday! Lovely photos redolent of spring into summer. Strawberry season is just beginning here in Malta, but we’ve just had 150mph winds and a devastating ‘cyclone’ all weekend. Raining red Saharan mud and sand! Poor strawberries. Sun and calm today though, and it’s veggie van day in the village square so I’ll be on the look out for those strawbs to make up into your delicious scones!

  12. oh dear, those scones are truly tempting. and such fresh photos, loving this strawberry season. thanks

  13. Artista itzela zara, Aran.
    Nik be gogoratzen dot aitagaz basoko mailukiak hartzen eta bedar siku batean sartzen koilarra modura.
    Argazkiak paregabeak dira. Zorionak

  14. les photos sont toujours aussi belles et “rafraîchissantes” et ces scones ont l’air miam :)

  15. C.B. says:

    I love the way you’re raising your children: to love homemade food, to take part in the process and to play outside all the time. It reminds me of my own childhood when my mom would spend entire afternoons cooking and baking on the weekends. And I must say berries are my favorite. I remember that when I was a child and I would be at my dad’s place on a weekend, he would rent a movie, prepare a bowl of popcorn for my little brother and prepare us (my dad and I) a bowl of raspberries with cream.

  16. Srimathi says:

    I had such a pleasure to looki at your photos and read the post. Makes me feel so happy looking at the strawberries. I love chai seeds too and have them with my breakfast. I have not seen recipes that used them in baking. Will try baking with them soon.Thank you for such great photos it made me smile.

  17. is there anything more delightful then berries freshly picked? still warm from the sun, sweetness bursting in your mouth. It really makes them worth the wait, ignoring its fake greenhouse mass produced other. While I was in Sonoma over the summer, blackberries grow wild along the roads. They taste amazing, no words to describe. Love the bees, love the baby strawberries, cant wait for Spring/Summer here. :)

  18. Your pictures are beautiful. They are making me crave summer and the scones look wonderful.

  19. beautiful aran, lovely to see the kids. i can’t wait for the tiny wild strawberries that cover the fields here.

  20. erica says:

    ah, i love the photograph of the bees! how beautiful! well, all your photos are beautiful! by the way, where do you get all of your fun spoons? :)

  21. Wow! Beautiful! And LOVE the ingredients in the scones! Will have to make these for sure!

  22. What beautiful photos! I love the way you associate colours and the “mise en page”. I read that you are from the Pays Basque. May I also comment your posts in french? That would be easier for me. I have discovered your blog only very recently and have scrolled through all your posts. Your photos are so optimistic and it’s so agreable to look at them. Thank you!
    Bonsoir :-)

  23. kelly says:

    These look fabulous and your photography is stunning. I just shared your recipe via pinterest which would like directly back to your site. If you don’t want this published on pinterest, please let me know and I’ll remove. Thanks.

  24. Heather says:

    I love this post! Going to a strawberry field sounds like the perfect spring activity. These pictures are some of my favorites!

  25. Cait says:

    fabulous post and i love all the pics!

  26. You know what’s neat? I’m 33. Last summer I found a blackberry farm and got in the car with my mom and we spent an afternoon picking them. It was magical.

    Lovely, isn’t it? The idea that as beautiful as the way was that you documented here, you have more glorious strawberry adventures to come, even when they’re all grown up.

    Cheers!
    Katherine

  27. Carmen says:

    Tus fotos no pueden ser mas bonitas. Copos de quinoa no creo que encuentre aqui pero lo cambiare por avena. Todo el fin de semana los ratitos (son bien pocos con un bebe de 13 meses:D) se lo he dedicado al libro de Bea (LaTartine)…una delicia en todos los sentidos, y cuando terminaba
    pensaba “bien en unos meses el de Aran!!” qeu ganas de ver el tuyo :D

  28. Mmmmmm I can smell those fresh picked strawberries from here. Oh the weather there looks warm and spring like. We are still having rain and a crazy wind storm right now. Oh I so need spring to arrive!!! Beautiful photos as always Aran.

  29. Melina says:

    I just love reading about your children. How Jon advised Miren on the way to find the best berries – fantastic!

    Lovely story. I need to get out more… :)

  30. Kate says:

    What kind of coconut milk did you use? SoDelicious?

    Thanks can’t wait to make these!

  31. shelbygail says:

    I just loooove this post…the pictures and recipes and recollections…absolutely refreshing, inspiring and lovely. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
    Yay for Strawberry Season!!

  32. GG says:

    it’s a while until the strawberries are ripe herebut after seeing this I will be looking forward to that even more than usual. GG

  33. I like your blog. Sorry for my english is very bad. Your pictures and the story is wonderfull. I’m in love. Tank you for your inspiration.
    Merci pour votre blog, vos photos et vos histoires sont magnifiques et vous êtes une vrai source d’inspiration.
    Merci de nous faire partager votre monde.
    À très bientôt
    Vanessa Serendipity

  34. Anonymous says:

    I’ve long been an admirer and never commented. I wouldn’t now but I know how painstaking you are about your blog. I know you would want to ‘get it right’. And so, “queue” in the context of this blog should be ‘cue’.

    Your photos are magical.

  35. Great post. Love the picture with the single bee. You caught it so well.
    I love strawberry picking. Outside Montreal around June/July it is the berry picking time and it is so beautiful. My girls love to pick-nick in the fields after we pick the strawberries. How long are you planning on staying in Montreal after the course?

  36. The Strawberries started out so sweet and fragrant for us this year but didn’t last long in that state. Sad because I was so loving them. The picture of that little goat is precious. I have not yet embraced whole ingredients but perhaps the more I read the more I will appreciate

  37. Alexandra- haven’t made cashew cream yet but I will soon. Do you feel you can whip it? I have bought cashew cream at whole foods but had stabilizers which aided in the whipping part, but not sure how it works without it.

    Rebecca- yes, I find quinoa flakes next to the GF oats actually.

    Erica- The spoons are from a French company called Sabre.

    Pink and White- I am from Pays Basque but from the Spanish side (as you might know 4 provinces are in Spain and 3 in france). My French is very rusty. Basque, Spanish and English are my three fluent languages.

    Katherine- That sounds lovely!

    Kate- No, I always use unsweetened coconut milk in the can. It has less that stabilizers and a consistency I like better.

    Anonymous- yes, yes, yes!!! oops… :)

    Karine- I will be there a couple of extra days but not sure I will have time to go strawberry picking then. Too much to see! Can’t wait!

    Thank you all for your kind comments!

  38. Very inspiring, love it, the blog, the food, the light, the spirit….i´m a big fan of Canelle et Vainille and follow you. I´m a new blogger (in spanish): http://www.cocina-quetecocina.blogspot.com.
    Thank you!

  39. These scones look fantastic. Sweet and crumbly – yum! I can;t wait for strawberry season here. Just a few months to wait for sweet red berries!

  40. a. maren says:

    i have this vague memory of picking fresh strawberries as a child, and the mind blowing sweetness that came with them. it’s been all store bought strawberries since then, but i’m dying to get back out on a farm like this one. thanks for sharing your experience.

  41. Veronique says:

    Beautiful photography!!! What I would do to have access to strawberry farms… Veronique Xo

    http://www.theneoncactus.com

  42. Veronique says:

    Beautiful photography!!! What I would do to have access to strawberry farms… Veronique Xo

    http://www.theneoncactus.com

  43. Such breathtaking photos! I love a good scone and this one sounds delicious!

  44. Paola says:

    ma che belle foto e che bei posti…adoro la vita in campagna!

  45. meles says:

    I love your Blog, your images, your photos, the ambiance…I am a lace, embroidery and textile designer based in Barcelona, you can check my website MelesMust.com and you might get inspired too…look forward to hear from you.

  46. I love the abundance of farms in your area. There really aren’t farms like that here in the desert. . . however, we grow as much as we can in our backyard, so my children are familiar with a variety of fruits and vegetables and how they grow at home. We know a few people who are zoned for animals, so they can see those. I love showing them your photos; my 7-year-old and my 3-year-old loved the pictures of the strawberry farm.

  47. It seems our growing seasons coincide. Ours will also run until April or so and we have been getting beautiful, sweet and small strawberries. Just made a starwberry pistachio cake with them actually. Love the color combo here of blue , pink and red. Lovely :)

  48. Sophie says:

    Hi,

    I’m blown away by your photography and styling! Will you by any chance be hosting any workshops in the NY area?
    Also, I was wondering
    1. What’s your favorite lens for food photography?
    2. Where did you find the adorable patterned plastic cutlery?
    Thanks!

  49. Deborah Lehmann says:

    so delicious! I envy you guys in Florida and that you already have straberries and rasberries! I have to wait for 2 more months here in Switzerland! gorgeous treats! and I love how you involve your children :-) greetings from Switzerland,deborah

  50. Sophie- No workshops in NY so far, but I’d love to at some point. My favorite lens might be the Canon 100mm macro and the spoons are from a French company called Sabre.

    Thank you all!

  51. Anonymous says:

    So lovely! Any chance you would share where to find the dishes you used? Thank you!

  52. Seanna Lea says:

    I love the scones, but really want to know how to make natillas. I’d love to try something new.

  53. Cazare says:

    Wow, those scones are truly amazing. The photos are so fresh and… I am just loving this strawberry season.

  54. susan says:

    Aran, these photos take my breath away. We recently started adapting a gluten free household and my little one has been begging for scones. I am going to try these with some gf oats that I have and I am confident that he is going to love them!

  55. Your pictures are amazing as always, i wish you were my mom sometimes XD
    Thaïs

  56. Anonymous- there are several makers but my favorite ones lately come from Suite One Studio http://www.etsy.com/shop/SuiteOneStudio

    Susan- congrats on being GF! yes, we make these with oats often and they are great. chewier texture but lovely too.

    Cecile et Thais- come stay with us for a while… maybe you would change your mind then :))

    Thank you everyone!

  57. such gorgeous photos…i will definitely try those scones! you’ve inspired me to look into getting beehives too. there’s a local place that sets them up for you on a flat roof, if you have one and lots of flowers gardens.

    thanks for the inspirations!
    -juliette

  58. This could not be a lovlier post!! It’s a breathtaking escape -thank you for sharing it with us!! And for the inspiration too!!

  59. Sini says:

    Can’t believe you’re having strawberry season right now. Oh how I’m waiting for summer to come. And yes – wild strawberries are by far the best ones. They are so full of flavor. But isn’t it the same with so many other wild grown things?

  60. jen laceda says:

    love these berries!!! i also love all your Pip dishes and bowls! those plates brings a smile to my face! if only they still carried that particular line! sigh…can’t wait for spring, although we are having nice weather here in Toronto (in fact, throughout the winter – it was mild)!

  61. I adore your pictures and your recipes. You truly have a wonderful eye for taking incredible pictures.

  62. Amazing…my strawberry beds are still quiet and covered in straw…in the meantime, blueberries from last summer will do, and some fresh meyer lemon curd…wondering if, in the absence of chia or flaxseed, an extra egg will suffice?
    Will try this recipe with one goose egg instead of the egg and chia seed…perhaps the extra tackiness of the goose egg will adequately substitute…

  63. Strawberry are yammiiiiiiiiiiiii

  64. Doug Barnard says:

    Looks awesome, thanks for this! Great food sensory !

  65. Wow! What beeeautiful photos! Inspiring! And yummy – strawberries – I want to go strawberry picking!

  66. Ana_ILTdP says:

    Hola Aran!

    Natillas with cashew milk! wow, that is a great idea :D I have almond milk at home, so maybeeee. Wow, it’s genius, Aran.

    I love strawberries season, it’s a pity that it last so short.

  67. Lena says:

    hi I am wondering where you get your plastic cutlery that are in your photos? they are so cute and I would love to find some for myself… thanks in advance

    And by the way I LOVE all your food styling and photography is beautiful…

  68. I love pictures with strawberries, they add a beautiful colour to any of them.
    Felicidades por la nominación al mejor blog, te lo mereces.
    Besos
    Marialuisa

  69. Beth says:

    What a lovely post. Beautiful pictures as always. Growing up, picking berries was one of my favorites parts of summer. I lived in New England, and I looked forward to going to the farm to pick strawberries and blueberries with my mom. Sadly, U-Pick fruit is not so common in California, and while I still enjoy every flat of berries I buy at the farmers’ market, it’s not nearly the same as eating berries washed in sunshine directly off the bush where they were grown.

  70. susana says:

    Cute pictures!!!!!!!

    Can i share your blog in my blog?

    http://littlebigthings-photo.blogspot.pt/

    Waiting for a answer!

  71. Susan S says:

    We love D and D! They are wonderful there, and the addition of the animals has made it even better. They should even be having blueberries soon!

  72. Lovely… but what about the cup of berry-custardy goodness? Where is the recipe for that, please? :)

  73. Marilyn- Check my latest post. It is essentially the same custard recipe. http://www.cannellevanille.com/2012/05/simplicity-of-trifle.html

  74. Lovely post! Your pictures are beautiful and I love your use of quinoa flakes – one of my favorite gluten-free baking ingredients! Can’t wait to try these next time strawberry season rolls around :)

  75. KLFoodblog says:

    beautiful pics, very summery. Can I just ask you where do you get these beautiful colourful spoons? They are beyond gorgeous. Thanks Bart

  76. michele says:

    Sigh…yet again, I wonder where you were when I lived in Seattle and coul not find anyone who even enjoyed eating, much less cooking or food shopping…Anyway, as a vegan i am wondering why the chia plu egg? Before I repeat a previously failed experiment, have you tried scones with just the chia and no egg? I used to buy wonderful gluten free, vegan scones t PCC in View Ridge, but the baker left (with the recipe) before I could convince them to share the secret!

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