Strawberries, Chicken Gyros and a Busy Weekend

What a busy weekend!  I am exhausted.  But it's the summer.  And this was certainly a summer weekend.  My shoulders have some nice sunburn to prove it.

It all started on Thursday.  I headed home to go strawberry picking with mom and JS.  I love picking my own berries in the summer.  I tried blueberry picking around here last year, and it couldn't compare with what I was used to.  I think the area I grew up in just has the perfect climate for berries.  The blueberries here were smaller, sourer and much harder to pick than I am used to.  So rather than risking that this year, I figured I'd go and pick with mom.  And JS happened to be able to come with us!

It was a nice day for picking, and dry enough after all the rain!

Unfortunately, we are used to this farm providing giant strawberries, and this year, we were apparently too early for them.  They are a later season variety.  It was also busy on Thursday morning, so it was a little picked over.

I also missed the early morning dew on the plants, since I had to drive home before we could go pick.

But we did eventually get what we were looking for!

So much for only getting half a flat!  But somehow (well, after freezing a quart, a pie, and slicing some for eating) there is only a small bowl of unsliced berries left in the fridge, so I guess it wasn't too many!

I had other adventures at home with mom.  I also discovered that maple syrup comes in cans!  KH, SH, MH and PH came and brought one to mom and dad recently.

 Then came Friday.

Friday became cleaning and laundry day since I wasn't home on Thursday.  So, I ran around all morning on Friday trying to catch up.  But there were strawberries to put in my granola!  PLS, GWS, and ZNS were coming on Friday night to go to the beach for a picnic.  NES isn't a fan of most traditional picnic food, so I had a challenge to come up with something to have.

Eventually, I did.  NES loves gyros.  This was my inspiration.

My first thought was pitas, hummus, tzatziki and feta cheese.  With some sort of chicken, peppers and onions.

My solution was to make shish kabobs with the chicken, peppers and onions for NES to grill.

And then to marinate them.  This is part of why my Friday morning was so busy -- I was trying to get these marinated early enough to make a difference.

I found a marinade for chicken gyros on Pinterest, of course.  It was a excellent choice.  I adapted it a little bit, but it really added a lot of flavor to the meat and veggies.

Then, we brought the chicken to the beach, along with pitas, hummus, tzatziki, and feta cheese.

PLS brought a tasty three bean salad and chips.  We had a beautiful evening at the beach!
We found some ducks!

And then of course, we had to stop at our favorite ice cream place, as the sun set on the longest day of the year.

It was a beautiful sunset.

Chicken Gyro Kabobs
Marinade adapted from From Cupcakes to Caviar

2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (from two lemons)
zest from two lemons
5 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried mint
1 tbsp. dried dill
1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary
1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 1/2 tbsp. salt
pepper, to taste

Mix all ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl or measuring cup.

1 3/4 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
2 medium-large bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large vidalia onion, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces

If using bamboo skewers, soak them for 30 minutes before using.

Alternate chicken, pepper, and onion pieces on each skewer.

Place skewers in a 9x13 pan or other container.  Pour the marinade over the skewers.

Grill until cooked thoroughly, turning occasionally.

Take the chicken and veggies off the skewers.  Serve with pita bread, tzatziki, hummus, and feta cheese.


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