I’m dubbing this week Strawberry Week. It may or may not be a “thing”, but it sure has been around our house. I’ve debated about whether to write a whole post devoted to strawberries, and I decided to go for it.
My little boy and I went picking at a local strawberry farm last week, Rutherford’s Farm, and we absolutely loved it. It’s not our first year, but since he’s older, he enjoyed more than he did last year.
Strawberries, like asparagus, or ramps, or poke, hail the warm weather. It’s a refreshing thing to pop a sweet little berry in your mouth. You almost feel the happiness in the strawberry juice. It energizes and lifts the spirits, in my case.
So we picked 15 pounds of strawberries on our first visit. We’re planning another visit soon. The peak of the season is upon us.
One of my new goals this year is to eat in season, and not waste my money on bland produce from the grocery store. Step one toward this goal was preserving this delicious little red fruit.
Here’s a few tips to make the most of your strawberry harvest:
Freeze: This may be the easiest step anyone can do. After the berries are washed and dried, lay them on a single layer on a cookie sheet. Put the whole thing in the freezer. After a day, they will be frozen solid. Now all you have to do is put them in a freezer bag or jar. They will stay good for a whole year. Use them in smoothies, baked goods, or as treats for the kids! The uses are practically endless.
Dehydrate: This method is a little more complicated…more because it is time consuming. And it really is nice to have a dehydrator on hand. You could use the oven method, set at 150 degrees. But it takes pretty much all day, and you have to keep a good eye on the berries.
We sliced the berries very thin with a mandolin slicer. Then we put them in single layers on our dehydrator trays. We let them dehydrate for about 7 hours.
They were perfect. Now these will also keep around a year in a jar. Add them to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal…again, the uses are endless.
Strawberry Preserves: I’ve dedicated a whole post to how I made preserves this year. Just so you know, preserves are not only for piping hot biscuits, but can be used to top pancakes, and makes My Mama’s Homemade Bread even better…especially toasted!
Strawberry Mint Pie: Oh boy. Who doesn’t love strawberry pie? I’m pretty sure there’s a strawberry pie recipe around every corner. But this one is pretty darn good. I wanted to use some of my mint from my herb garden, and the results were amazing!
There are so many yummy things to do with fresh strawberries. I hope you get out to pick some yourself this year. The results are rewarding…and delicious.