Saturday, March 31, 2012

Strawberry Picking (3/31/2012)

Saturday, March 31, 2012
Today is the Grand Gateway-sponsored outing for strawberry picking. A nice sunny day as March goes out like a lamb.
The Grand Gateway van took 10 adults and 3 children more than an hour to the west, to Baihe. Although this outing was also provided the week before, we must have had a new driver and new chaperones. No one knew exactly where we were going. After many cell phone conversations and turning around a few times, we drove down a side street past industrial and agricultural areas. We then met up with a girl on a bicycle, who "led" us to the proper location. Her bicycle did not go very fast, and she spent some time running along with it.
Finally arrived down a very narrow lane. 
We were first served a farmhouse lunch.
I think the strategy was to fill us up, so that we didn't eat too many strawberries while picking them.
If you tend to get queasy, do not look into the kitchen:
The old man is putting wood into the wood-burning stove:
The wood-burning stove from behind:
Tomorrow's lunch was running around in the back of the house:
The children were allowed to feed the rabbit:
A few of our lunch dishes - quail eggs and mushrooms:
Sort of a sweet'n'sour fish:
Clear tofu with greens:
We had a total of 17 dishes including vegetables such as spinach, carrots, potato, cucumber, and bamboo. Other meat dishes included pork with the inch of fat attached, more fish, and river snails. There were also farm fresh aggs.
The outer walls had broken glass in the stucco:
Wall design:
Dried peppers:
This is some succulent that the wife had us pick and pop in our mouths to eat:
A cooker that was used to heat water:
Fava or broad bean plant:
We then had to hike across the agricultural area:
To the strawberry greenhouses:
Raised rows of strawberry plants:
Kent picking strawberries:
The strawberries appeared trained to grow to the sides:
Tamiko wore her rainboots:
Some of the Grand Gateway group:
Kent picked a lot more strawberries than Tamiko:
Small but sweet:
The weighing process:
We each paid 100RMB ($16) for this outing, which included a kilo (2.2 pounds) of strawberries.
Yellow blooms of the rapeseed or canola plant:
Almost everyone under the age of 30 fell asleep on the way home (that left us and the driver awake!).

Made "pie crust" from crushed butter cookies and butter:
Our glazed strawberry pie:

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