Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Year's Worth of Strawberries

Strawberry season is late this year in the Pacific Northwest.  Just late last week, our favorite berry farm opened for u-pick, so the kiddos and I jumped in the truck and off we went.

This year we picked 43 pounds of berries.  What does one do with that many strawberries?  Well, this is what we did:

  1. Freeze them.  Well, we love kefir smoothies; mock frozen yogurt; strawberries on pound cake, angel food, ice cream..you get the picture.  I freeze the berries whole (after they have been hulled) so I can choose just one berry or a bunch of them.  Of the berries we picked, I ended up with 6 gallon freezer bags full.
  2. Make jam.  I didn't make any jam last year so we were totally out.  I decided to try a different pectin (more about that later) so I could use a natural sweetener.  I used 12 C of crushed strawberries and got approximately that amount of finished jam.
  3. Make syrup. I took 6 C of crushed berries to make strawberry syrup for pancakes, waffles, ice cream, etc.  Because I made it, I got to be in charge of the type and amount of sweetener.  I'll share just how easy it is this week.
  4. Make fruit leather.  Although I didn't make any of that yet, I may at a later time using some of the berries I froze.
  5. Don't forget to eat some!   We enjoyed fresh strawberries with cream for dessert one night, but mostly we just enjoyed them au naturel.  Can't beat that!

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