Saturday, April 29, 2017


Here in our part of  Arkansas Strawberries are often ready by Mother's Day! (where I grew up we often waited nearly till the 4th of July to enjoy them!)
'Back in the day' this county (Searcy) was the Strawberry capital of the world.
 The Flintrock Strawberry Growers Association of Searcy County reported sales of 19,500 crates in 1948.
Back then a crate held 24 quarts! The county paper reported 1956 as the peak year with 1,800 acres in production. In those days the school year was coordinated to allow children out of school (sometime in May) in order to pick. A large truck would be sent to town to pick up the children and take them to the fields, which were usually on the slope of a hill. (Remember this is the Ozarks!) They would climb the hill bent over picking their way up. One person I know said, in the late 1960's he was paid .06 cents a quart to pick!
This past week at the farmer's market in Little Rock a quart cost $7.00!
I recommend checking out Wikipedia, which had so many interesting facts about the Strawberry, going all the way back to King Charles V of France in the 1300's who had 1200 plants in his garden.
A few years ago you could find some version of this pie in almost ever small town café in our neck of the woods, this time of the year. It doesn't seem as likely now-a-days as most restaurants --even the small ones-- buy their pies ready made from some big supplier and you see the same kinds in every café, Buttermilk and Strawberry pies seem to faded into a thing of the past........................
                                                        Strawberry Pie
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
5 T. melted butter
1  8 oz. package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 quart sliced strawberries
1/2-1 cup sugar*** See Note
1 cup water
3 T. cornstarch
2 T. strawberry Jello
1 tsp. Almond flavoring
Mix crumbs and sugar together, add melted butter, stir well then
press firmly into a 10” pie plate.
In medium bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with handheld mixer for
2 minutes or till light and fluffy.
Carefully spread into piecrust, place in fridge.
In medium saucepan whisk together sugar and cornstarch, add water and cook over medium heat until thick and clear about 2 minutes, add Jello and stir well, remove from heat and add flavoring and gently stir in berries. Spoon into crust and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
Can be served with or without sweetened whipped cream on top!
**The amount of sugar you need totally depends on how sweet your fruit is!
Taste  your strawberries first and adjust as needed

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