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Lately I have discovered bartering or trading. There is a Local group that communicates via a group page on Facebook. I mention this because this is how I found out about the Watmaugh Strawberry Farm.  The farm stand owned by San and Jao Saetern, it is on the corner of Watmaugh Road and Arnold Drive in the town of Sonoma.

The reviews about this place are all raves, so I knew a trip down to Sonoma was in my future. Last Sunday I visited the strawberry stand…and I was not disappointed! I bought a flat of the red fragrant berries for $22. What a bargain and they were freshly picked that day.  There was a line of cars ahead of me and a line behind me quickly forming.

The Saetern family is also growing a handful of other crops, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, corn and peaches. Self control on the way home was not my strong suit. I popped enough of those lovely berries in my mouth so make a small dent in my newly purchased stash.

I had plans for these strawberries….for the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about fresh Strawberry Ice cream paired with our favorite Oatmeal Cookies to create a delicious ice cream sandwich. They were a big hit and the perfect summer time dessert!

Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

-= Ingredients =-
1 lb. ripe strawberries ; hulled and halved
1/2 cup sugar or 1/3 cup honey
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups heavy ; (whipping) cream, or half & half

-= Instructions =-
In a bowl, mash the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice with a potato masher (or squish them between your fingers, or whiz in the food processor); stir in the cream. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you want it firmer, transfer to a container or bowl and put in the freezer until firm. And please, try to share.

Now a little side note about these cookies. These are my families favorite Oatmeal cookies, hands down. They were created by the fabulous pastry chef Kim Boyce. Kim and I were both pastry chefs in Los Angeles back in the day. Since then we have both moved north, Kim a bit further than I, to find community and raise our families in a kinder gentler setting. Kim moved to Portland, Oregon where she opened Bakeshop.  I found this adapted version of the Iced Oatmeal cookie on Smitten Kitchen’s blog..and since I did not have the ingredients in the pantry for the multigrain flour blend. I tried out this version and it was lovely. I think we still prefer the original recipe though which you can find in Kim’s book Good to the Grain, along with lots of other delectable recipes.

Iced Oatmeal Cookies – Good to the Grain – Kim Boyce

Serving Size: 30

-= Ingredients =-
Butter ; for baking sheets
2 1/2 cups 1 tablespoon ; (8 1/4 ounces or 231 grams) old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup  ; (2 1/4 ounces or 65 grams) whole wheat flour
1 cup  ; (4 3/8 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour*
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoons ; (20 grams) baking powder
1 teaspoon  ; (5 grams) baking soda
2 teaspoons kosher salt**
1 cup  ; (8 3/8 ounces or 238 grams) dark brown sugar
1/2 cup  ; (3 1/2 ounces or 100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon  ; (2 grams) cinnamon
1 teaspoon  ; (2 grams) freshly grated nutmeg
8 ounces ; (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs

2 1/4 (9 1/2 ounces or 270 grams) cups powdered sugar
5 to 6 ; (75 to 90 ml) tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon  ; (6 grams) cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt**

-= Instructions =-
Preheat oven to 350°F with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Rub two baking sheets with butter. In a food processor, grind 1/2 cup of oats to a fine powder, then add remaining oats and grind them all together until it resembles coarse meal, with only a few large flakes remaining.

Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring back any bits of grains or other ingredients that remain in the sifter. In a small bowl, whisk butter and eggs until combined. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Scoop balls of dough about 2 to 3 tablespoons in size (I used a #40 cookie scoop, which scooped 2 tablespoon-sized balls) onto cookie sheets about 3 inches apart. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. When tops are evenly brown, take them out and transfer them to a cooling rack. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Let cookies cool completely before icing.

In a bowl, whisk icing ingredients together until smooth. It should have a honey-like consistency. Drizzle the frosting over the cookies. Let the frosting set for 30 minutes (or more; it took longer at my place but by the next day, was fully firmed up) before eating. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.

* The original recipe replaced this volume with a multigrain flour mix that worked out to 1/2 cup barley flour 1/4 cup millet flour 1/4 cup rye flour. If you have any of these flours, swap them in and reduce the volume of all-purpose.

To assemble the cookies

After cookies have cooled, place the cookies on a sheet pan into the freezer for about 30 minutes. You want the consistency of the ice cream to be semi-soft. You will need an ice cream scooper. Remove cookies from the freezer. Place half cookies bottom side up. Place a scoop of the Strawberry Ice Cream on each cookie. Place another cookie on top and press down gently. Return to freezer.

Enjoy…Happy Summer

Saetern Strawberry Field

Watmaugh and Arnold Drive

Sonoma, CA 95476

(916) 207-2870

Farm Stand open daily through season 9am to 7pm