‘Tis the season to pick strawberries. Last week I went headed to New Market with my friend and her almost three-year old to have a berry picking adventure. We went to North Alabama icon Brown’s Farm and it lived up to my high expectations. It had a restroom, very important when traveling with a toddler. That was our first stop. Our second stop was a cute, little cabin to buy jams, honey and to get our strawberry picking buckets. Buckets in hand and hats on head we headed to the fields and started eating… I mean gathering strawberries. Some of us were a bit better at collecting strawberries than others, but there was a particular member of our picking party that ate far more than he put in the bucket.Please note the very emptiness of his bucket! Eventually he realized that strawberry picking was very similar to Easter Egg hunting and got onboard. The fields were nice, accessible and the attendant pointed us the best section to pick berries.After buying store-bought berries I sometimes I forget how strawberries are supposed to taste: sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness at the very end. In other words perfection. We picked for about an hour and had three very full buckets of nature’s candy, but as it approach noon it got hot and we started to wither. We didn’t bring lunch with us, but the farm had a lovely covered picnic area.I fully planned to come up with a recipe for the strawberries but we ate them all before I had a chance. Sometimes it’s just best to eat them as is.
This recipe was created by the always-talented Lily Plauché for an article we did together for NoAla Magazine. Some articles can be tiresome to work on, but whenever beer is involved it is always a pleasure and this one was no exception.
We both got to visit Straight to Ale, a great brewery in Huntsville, sample their delicious fares, and got the grand tour of the brewery. As with every brewery I have ever visited the people were very accommodating and lovely. Though I’m sure there out there, I have yet to meet a mean brewer.
IPA Ice Pops
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 cup Straight to Ale Monkeynaut IPA beer
9 wooden craft sticks
1. In a medium pot, combine sugar, water, strawberries, and pineapple. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Let cool.
2. Place fruit mixture and beer in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds, insert wooden craft stick into each, and freeze 8 hours or until firm.
These are a soft-frozen treat due to the high alcohol content. Dip the molds briefly into hot water to assist in removing from the pops the molds. You can also freeze them in small paper cups if you don’t have ice pop molds.