No Berry Sweeter Than A Strawberry

Doubtless God could have made a better berry ,
but doubtless God never did.
~William Allen Butler, American lawyer and writer of poetical satires, 1825-1902

12 pounds of fresh strawberries picked by moi
at berry farm, ready to be cleaned and cut

"jam" strawberries on left, "eating" berries on right

16 jars of strawberry jam
(yes, two are missing)

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

And don't kid yourself.  Picking strawberries in the afternoon, in jeans, when it's sweltering outside, is hard work.  Suffice it to say, I didn't plan my day well.  Next year I will plan my attire better, and stay longer so as to pick more strawberries.  The price was good though ~ $1.25/lb.

We had pound cake with some of the strawberries.  As I was cleaning out the fridge today, there were a few berries left, so I found this recipe for Strawberry Oatmeal Bars.  They are absolutely delicious, but I would definitely recommend using a 9x9 pan instead of a 13x9 pan as my bars are a little bit on the thin side.  Check out the reviews on the recipe website, as there are all kinds of suggestions for altering the recipe slightly.   I like the idea of drizzling some cream cheese icing over top.  YUM!

I love poetry.  Sometimes.  As I read the following poem, I have difficulty getting the sense of all of it.  The first three stanzas are easy enough... the last three confound me.  Feel free to leave your interpretation.

Wild Strawberries
~Robert Graves

Strawberries that in gardens grow
Are plump and juicy fine,
But sweeter far as wise men know
Spring from the woodland vine. 

No need for bowl or silver spoon,
Sugar or spice or cream,
Has the wild berry plucked in June
Beside the trickling stream.

One such to melt at the tongue's root,
Confounding taste with scent,
Beats a full peck of garden fruit:
Which points my argument.

May sudden justice overtake
And snap the froward pen,
That old and palsied poets shake
Against the minds of men.

Blasphemers trusting to hold caught
In far-flung webs of ink,
The utmost ends of human thought
Till nothing's left to think.

But may the gift of heavenly peace
And glory for all time
Keep the boy Tom who tending geese
First made the nursery rhyme.


  1. I have picked a couple of gallons of strawberries off my little backyard patch so far. I need a good strawberry jam recipe if you don't mind emailing it to me.
    As for the poem.....sounds like someone put the wrong three stanzas at the end of what was a lovely poem.
    Now you have made me hungry for those berries.

  2. Looks like you have a strawberry treasure there. We have learned to pace ourselves or we will pick to many and have a freezer full of the berries.

  3. All I can say is YUMMMMMYYYY...... Our season here in MN is way behind yours...... ohhhh I can't wait....

  4. Should I send you my address so you know where to send some of that jam? Just kidding. :)

  5. I pretty much love anything strawberry!

  6. The best way to eat fresh strawberries, besides by themselves, is with fresh cream from our milk cow.

  7. Those oatmeal bars sound so yummy. I can't get enough strawberries!

  8. OOOOO... I love strawberries... one more reason to get back!

  9. Oh those look amazing!! Thanks for posting that recipe, as for the poem, hmmmmm, I agree that the last three stanzas seem to be from another poem or he went off on a tangent, not sure. Who is the boy Tom tending geese? I was racking my brain to think of who he might be talking about.

  10. I don't know why but I did a search about that poem and it seems that your author Graves was making a statement about the epic poets of the time saying that her preferred simple verse as he illustrates at the beginning of the poem over the complicated stuff being published at the time. Don't ask me why I felt the need to look it up lol, i'm late for work!!!
    Have the best of days!

  11. If those are organic strawberries I would still be there picking...they look yummy. I haven't made jam in years..might be time to start again.

  12. I love strawberry jam and cereal with strawberries...but am not a big fan of poetry. Most times I don't get it at all, and I especially hate when someone else gives an interpretation of a poem and I'm going "Huh, you got THAT out of that? What the ...?"

  13. That was a huge box of fresh strawberries. How long did it take to pick all those strawberries? I saved the recipe for strawberry oatmeal bars to my recipe file. Thanks for that. We just made smoothies with fresh strawberries and bananas and vanilla ice cream.

  14. Ooo, love the look of those strawberries, which brings to mind the idea of strawberry freezer jam.

    Thanks for the poem. It did seem to be two different poems thrown into one, didn't it?

    And thanks too, to Laura, for finding out what the poem was all about. :)

  15. Nigel is LOVING the strawberry jam you sent us. It has become his bedtime treat: toast and jam! Thankies!!!

  16. Strawberries go with anything! Love that poem too.

  17. Strawberries are my favorite along side of Blueberries!! I would need a whole day to do picking and preparing but WHEN!!! Printed out the recipe also for future.

  18. Still eating last years strawberry preserves and getting new strawberries from the garden photo in sidebar. Went out into a storm last night and thought of you LOL.. I've got 100 tomato plants in the garden. I may need some extra ideas on what to do with all the tomatos

  19. Strawberries are good by themselves as a stand alone food, or on strawberry short cake, in jam, sliced on cereal, whipped in smoothies, and mix well with bananas, pineapple, apple, or just about any other fruit. Such a versatile berry strawberries are. When in the third grade my Mom discovered that I loved strawberry jam and so for the next two school years I had a strawberry jam sandwich in my lunch every day. At times I thought about doing a trade at the lunch table for something else, but couldn’t bring myself to trade away my beloved strawberry jam sandwich. I still like a good strawberry jam sandwich today some 50 years later. I guess I just never outgrow some things.

    Poetry was never something I could figure out. I always thought that if the writer meant to say something why didn’t they just come out and say it. The interpretation thing was and still is not a strong trait in my life. I guess that’s why I like bloggers so much. They just say what they mean and don’t try to encrypt it in some mumbo jumbo fancy word language. Long live blogs and those that write them.

    Old Nebraska Dave

  20. Berry season hasn't began around here I'm anxious for it to start!

  21. We had pound cake with some of the strawberries tonight too! YUM.

    I'm jealous of all that fabulous jam. I don't have the energy to make it this season.... but after seeing yours I might give it a try this weekend.

    Bon Appetite,

  22. I love poetry . . . Good poetry is pithy and contains the most emotion with the least amount of words . . . and, in a nutshell, I think the poet is saying that the most vital, ALIVE thought is thought "outside the box" in the same way that the most delicious strawberries are uncultivated and found as we explore the natural world.

    Strawberries are my favorite berry. I eat them every day!!! (and planted them in my garden this year :0 . . . maybe I should have planted them along the wooded trail??????????? lol)

  23. Strawberries... YUMMMMMMY. They are my favorite after raspberries and blackberries.

  24. Oh I am SO. COMPLETELY. JEALOUS of you over here! Seriously, I'm a big fruit lover and strawberries are included in that love ^.^

    All of those strawberry yumlicious pictures look so amazing!!

  25. Oh Susan these look delicious! I just planted about 65 strawberry plants this year..not getting many but next year should be a bumper crop. Can't wait! I haven't made jam in about 13 years...I used to can all kinds of things every year. This year I'm starting up I just need to buy everything! Hope I find a good garage sale ;) Have a wonderful Sunday. Maura :)

  26. What is the difference between "jam" berries and "eating" ones? They all look yummy to me!
    Your oatmeal/strawberry bars look fab, too.

    Every time I have strawberries it makes me think of my Grandma, who used to love them with a little powdered sugar. Simple, yummy and still my favorite!

  27. In San Diego, when the kids of Central American immigrants do poorly in school or get into trouble, their parents make them get a summer job picking strawberries. It makes me laugh because it's the Kansas version of a summer spent throwing bales, fixing fence and irrigation pipes, or going on a custom crew. Any of those things will turn your grades around! LOL