I love berries. Earlier this week I was in the car headed to a week of fun work in St Pete, Florida. Its not a bad drive at all – I get in the car at my house and seven hours later I pull into my sister’s driveway. Podcasts and audio books keep me company, and I always pack a PB and J for the drive since I’m not a fast food fan. Nothing stops me except a fuel and potty break, then its back on the road quickly.

Except for Monday, when I spotted the UPICK sign along the highway. About 10 miles of giant billboard strawberries tempted me to stop. In my mind, I calculated how long it would take me, and just how deep into rush hour traffic my sweet bliss would cost me. Over an hour and I would be hitting Tampa at 5:00, one of the most frustrating cities I’ve travelled through. (And this comment, from an Atlanta resident!)

I could taste the sweet warm berries, ripe and drippy, messy and perfect. Not the grocery store kind, those boxes of pretty red ones that taste like plastic, oh no. I wanted real berries. As I passed the last sign that said, “Turn here”, I did. No, not for the UPICK, but for a container of berries that someone else toiled over, and spent the time I couldn’t afford. I arrived in St. Pete with a pink stained shirt, smelling like strawberries. Heaven!

Here’s one of my favorite strawberry recipes, to celebrate strawberry season. (Mom would like it for Mother’s Day, too!)

Spring Strawberry Jam Salad

The Dressing 
1/4  Cup Strawberry Jam
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp each Sea Salt and Black Pepper

The Salad
8 Cups Spring Greens – Baby Spinach, Arugula or other Lettuces
1 Cup Shredded Red Cabbage
1 Cup Shredded Carrots
2 Cups Sliced Strawberries
4 Oz Goat Cheese, Crumbled
1/4 Thinly Sliced Green Onions
1/2 Cup Toasted Sliced Almonds

Step One To make the dressing, add the jam, vinegar, mustard and oil to a jar and shake well. Season with the salt and pepper. 

Step Two To make the salad, toss together the salad ingredients. Beginning with half of the remaining dressing, toss the salad, adding more if necessary.  

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