Wednesday, June 26, 2013

More Strawberries!

Strawberries are ready and the area You Picks are doing door busting business!  Many small farms in central New York have their roadside stands filled with these luscious gems.  As a firm believer in supporting local businesses whenever possible, fresh strawberries provide a positive incentive.

Although there are only five or six different wild strawberry species, there are hundreds of different domesticate varieties.  Some are small and dark, others are monstrous, though a bid bland.  I've heard some people claim that the smaller the berry the more likely it is to be tart.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Many of the smaller varieties are top picks by chefs when making jams and desserts.  To read more, see Strawberry Varieties.
So here's a couple of ideas to help extend Strawberry time at your house:

Strawberry freezer jam -- this is good for all sorts of things: on top of ice cream (or blended in), spread on bread & biscuits, served over waffles, etc. etc.

Sliced and served over a bit of cake  -- oh, did I say 'Cake?'
A remarkably easy, tasty recipe which is relative low in calories and did I mention?  Really good.  You need 1 box of pudding in the mix cake mix (chocolate or lemon compliment strawberries nicely) eight ounces (1 cup) of Greek yogurt, and 3/4 cup water.  Follow the directions for blending, pan prep, and baking from the cake mix box.  I used a couple of loaf pans.  The cake didn't rise very much but it did have a fine silky texture that was a nice compliment with the fresh strawberries. 
Freeze and save for another time -- This is where some people get this notion that they need to freeze their berries in a sugar bath.  This is really unnecessary.  Just rinse the berries, remove the stems & caps if desired, spread out on a cookie sheet, and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer the berries to vacuum sealed bag or a press and seal bag where the air has been removed.  These are a nice surprise when the weather is cold and evil or a lovely addition blended into lemonade.

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