Right now, the end of the school year activities and picnics are colliding with our booming strawberry harvest. I love this time of year. The beginning of the harvest, the preservation. The satisfaction. Even the exercise.
It can be a little tiring. I am the night owl, not the early bird. Even the birds outside the window know this. I hear a bird trilling something that sounds like "Truuuuue, truuuue, truuuue!" When I think about what motivates and energizes me for such a time as this, it is the glory of creation. The fragrant honeysuckle blooms as the grass tickles my feet and I walk towards a field of corn stalks only a few inches high yet. The earth has burst forth in glorious new life. The warm sun, buttercups, and scenery that changes with new blooms before I even done admiring the old ones. Was it ever this good before? The newness is refreshing every year. I love bringing things into my home that are inspired by nature. Or just plain bringing in nature, in case of Little Mister's penchant for housing orphaned insects in various containers.
|Inspired by the real deal.|
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation...
|The real deal.|
Back to picnics. While I could best be described as "ïn-doorsy" there is something special about sipping a cool drink outside on a warm day while sharing food with those you love. Extra points if the children are enjoying it. This dessert is a timeless classic and has probably been on the table at every church carry in meal (pot luck) that I've ever attended. You can make the top layer with any thickened fruit pie filling, but for this one I used strawberries.
Prepare your fruit filling and allow it to cool completely. For this recipe I used:
3 1/2-4 cups of fresh or thawed frozen strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
3 T corn starch
Combine and stir over medium heat until thickened. You can add more sugar according to your taste.
1 1/2 cup crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Melt the butter and combine with the graham crackers and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Stir until crumbly, and then press into an 8x12 baking dish.
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
8 oz. of whipped cream or whipped topping
In a mixer, use a paddle to thoroughly mix the cream cheese and sugar. Add in the vanilla while mixing. Next, use a whisk attachment to mix in the whipped cream or whipped topping until you have a light, creamy consistency.
Spread the cream cheese evenly layer over the graham crackers. Chill until set. Last, spread your fruit filling over top. After everything is chilled, cut into squares and serve. Finally, take your empty dish home from the picnic.