Kellan Lawson, 9, son of Jane and Danny Lawson of West Des Moines, helped pick strawberries at the Iowa Orchard Strawberry Patch near Granger, Iowa.
Kellan Lawson, 9, son of Jane and Danny Lawson of West Des Moines, helped pick strawberries at the Iowa Orchard Strawberry Patch near Granger, Iowa.

June 12, 2017

I love to keep my boys busy in the summer. We enjoy exploring new places together. I had not gone berry-picking before and since both boys love strawberries I thought this would be something fun to try. We headed to Iowa Orchard Strawberry Patch just west of Granger right off Highway 141.

The smell of the strawberry patch was intoxicating. As soon as we opened the car doors, the scent of sweet strawberries filled the air.

The boys loved looking for the biggest, reddest berries they could find and wanted to keep picking until they filled their box full of juicy berries.


Classic Strawberry Shortcake

I grew up having Sunday dinners in the summer on our three-season porch. My mom would cook something special for dinner and would often bake strawberry shortcake for dessert.

I adore this classic dessert. I love mine served in a shallow bowl with a sweet biscuit in the bottom topped with juicy strawberries and surrounded by cold half-and-half.

1 quart (4 cups) strawberries, sliced

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/3 cups Original Bisquick mix

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

1 cup whipping cream


Heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl, mix strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk, sugar, and melted butter until soft dough forms. On an ungreased cookie sheet, drop dough by 6 spoonfuls.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, in small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.

Split warm shortcakes; fill and top each shortcake with strawberries and whipped cream. Serve with half-and-half, if desired.


Strawberry Banana Bread

If you have an abundance of strawberries to use add some to your banana bread. Strawberries and bananas are a lovely combination especially in moist and chewy bread from The Recipe Critic.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs, beaten

3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries chopped & tossed in 1 tablespoon of flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray two 9x5-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, using an electric or stand mixer with paddle attachment cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

In a small bowl, beat eggs using a fork. Add eggs to sugar mixture and beat until combined. Add mashed bananas and mix until combined.

Sift all dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add sifted dry ingredients to banana mixture and mix until flour is just combined. Do not overmix. Fold in floured-covered strawberries.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes until edges are slightly brown or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing from loaf pans.

Yield: 2 loaves