Tuesday, April 28, 2009

{strawberry memories}

This weekend, a little town in our county will once again be host to The Annual North Carolina Strawberry Festival. ....celebrating ripe, red, luscious sweet strawberries for the 77th consecutive year! Thoughts of the festival bring back fond and slightly amusing memories for Kevin and I. Although, at the time they weren't so fond....

Years ago, while in high school, I participated in the Strawberry Princess Pageant. As you may well know, in the south we have pageants that represent most anything....Azaleas, Dogwoods, Tobacco, Peanuts, Yams, and yes, even Fireants. That is, just to name a smidgen of the wonderful, albeit quirky southern royalty showcased. I could do an entire post on the subject alone, but I'll save that for another day!

So back to my story....I was running for the Miss NC Strawberry Princess and as participants, we were involved in all of the festivities for the weekend festival, including the Friday afternoon parade through the quaint little town. Each contestant was responsible for finding a convertible car and driver to drive them through the parade. Kevin had the prettiest midnight blue corvette, with T'tops. Not to mention, he was one fine hunk himself. (reverting to my 80's lingo, "smiles") Kevin was a year ahead of me in school, and although I knew him, we'd never said said two words to each other. For weeks, I perfected with much practice my "pageant wave," ...you know the one! :) I imagined myself on top of that gorgeous car, in my big, beautiful fuchsia pink gown with crinolines galore, being driven by that one good-looking, dark haired boy. After the parade, the contestants were scheduled to attend a dignitaries luncheon and I intended on asking Kevin to escort me to that as well.

I was intimidated by Kevin. My dad knew his dad well, and I begged Daddy to call and ask if Kevin would drive "his only, and most favorite daughter" in the parade. Daddy did, and Kevin agreed. However when the day arrived, it quickly lost it's sparkle and fell quite short of the fantasy I had envisioned. Kevin's ex-girlfriend decided to tag along, making the atmosphere awkward and tense. I knew there was no chance he would accompany me to the luncheon, I didn't even ask. To make matters worse, my then 11 year old brother wanted to ride in a vette, so he was allowed to ride in the parade with us. However, half way through the route, my brother felt the wind was too strong on him, and rolled my dress up in the window, which wasn't discovered until AFTER the parade and viewing the pictures taken.

.....I lost my quest for the crown! I didn't even place as a runner up. So home I went, without the guy, and without the crown. But the saga didn't end there.

Approximately eight years later, Kevin and I met again, did alot more talking than that first encounter. This time, I did get the guy, .....and he treats me like a QUEEN. Most of the time, anyway! "smiles"

Oh, and I still have my big pink dress, and he still has the vette, but neither is what you could say "functional." :)

Strawberry Recipes from a few of our local folks...

~Strawberry Supreme Heath Bar Cake~

1box Strawberry Supreme cake mix, 1 can of condensed milk, 1 (8 oz.) Cool Whip fat-free, 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix, 2 cups of fresh strawberries, 2 Heath bars, 1 cup milk

Prepare cake as directed. Bake in a 9x13 pan. Cool slightly. Stick holes in cake 1" apart, pour condensed milk over cake. Refrigerate overnight. Next day, puree 1 cup strawberries. Pour over cake. Sprinkle crushed Heath Bar over berries. Spread topping and refrigerate 4 hours before serving. {Topping} Prepare pudding mix using 1 cup of milk. Fold in whipped topping. Spread over cake. Garnish with 1 crushed Heath bar and 1 cup sliced strawberries. (by J. Shaw)

~Death By Strawberries~

1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 cup white syrup, 1 cup water, 3 tbs. cornstarch, 1 box strawberry Jello, 1 pie shell, lots of strawberries, 1 container of whipped cream

Combine first 4 ingredients. Heat to boiling and add box of Jello. Fill pie shell with strawberries. Pour sauce over berries and refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving. (by P. Skinner)

~Strawberry Crisp~

1 cup oatmeal (uncooked), 1 cup all purpose flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 cups fresh strawberries (sliced)

Mix together oatmeal, flour and brown sugar. Add nuts. Cut in butter until crumbly. In separate bowl, mix strawberries and white sugar. Grease an 8 inch square pan. Spread half crumb mixture on bottom. Cover with strawberries. Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold with whipped cream. (by a good friend of mine, R. Ward)

....Enjoy, Rhonda :)


Darlene said...

What a FABULOUS story! Too bad you weren't Miss Strawberry Prinesss!! Those strawberry recipes sound delicious! I know you will have a great time at the festival!

Amelia said...

Funny story now...but heart breaking at the time.

The morale of the story---don't give up on your dream.

Enjoy your strawberries this weekend.

Becky said...

Great story! Glad you got the guy!

Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. The strawberry stand close to my house just opened a few days ago.

onlymehere said...

The important thing is you got the boy!! I love that you both still have the dress and car even if they aren't functional. Do you still speak to this brother, LOL?!! I definitely a have to try these recipes. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I love learning more about my friends lives!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Love your story, Rhonda, but I think the judges made a BIG mistake. You should have been the queen because you are most definitely the queen of our blogging hearts. :-)

Glad you got the guy and that the guy is good to our queen.



Michelle said...

what a funny story...I'm form the South and have never really thought much about all of out padgents for every occassion but it is sooo true!

Moral of the story...you are the real winner and queen!

Thanks for the recipes...one of these I've never seen...think I will try. The kids and I went to the patch yesterday and picked 2 buckets..oh so good!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. What a wonderful story. I loved it ♥ Have you have ever considered posting some of the pictures. Thank you for the recipes. They do sound very yummy.

Pearl said...

Greetings Oh Majestic
Strawberry Queen
of my Heart...
I Love this post and the walk down Memory Lane with you... it did make me "grumble" a lil bit, though...
~grumbles at ex-girlfriends~
~grumbles at goofy brothers~
~grumbles at dumb judges~

The best part is that you got the guy! I'm glad he treats you like a Queen, 'cause in my mind, that's what you are ~hugs~ Hope you enjoy lots of sweet strawberries... maybe Kevin will dip some in chocolate for you ♥

~God bless~

~hugs 'n prayers~

Angie said...

I love that story! That tiara is gorgeous, too...I love it! I have to transplant my strawberries soon because last year hubby accidently mowed over some of them...lol. Can't let that happen again! Must find safer ground!

Beth at Aunties said...

What a funny, funny story~ I loved it. I am glad he finally came to his senses. You will always be the queen in his eyes...sorry about your dress. LOL ...Girlfriends..brothers!
Such stories are but precious memories!
Thanks for the delicious strawberry recipes and the pics of the strawberries look so yummy!


Vee said...

Loved your story! Ohhh gosh, I'm so glad that everything worked out in the end. =D

Thanks for all the wonderful strawberry recipes. My beloved is already dreaming of a strawberry shortcake, but strawberries won't be around before June here.

Sorry that you didn't win Strawberry Princess/Queen. Their loss!

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Oh I LOVED hearing that story Rhonda!! What a great memory! And those strawberry recipes - yum! Funny - I have a strawberry cake recipe at my blog right now. :)