Happy Top Five Tuesday!
It’s here!! Strawberry season has finally arrived here in Central New York, and no one is more excited than I am. I’ll be picking up some strawberries this morning at the local Farmer’s Market, and then picking several pounds worth at a pick-your-own farm next week. We are going to have an abundance of sweet red berries sitting around our house.
This is my first time picking strawberries. I’m not sure why; when I was growing up, my mom always bought a ridiculous number of strawberries from a local store every year. It would have been easier to give us all a bucket and let us kids do all of the work. Mark and I caught onto pick-your-own produce last year, when we went up to pick blueberries and then apples in the fall. This year, we’re trying to pick as much of our own produce as possible, to fill up the freezer and pantry.
So, once we have all of these strawberries, what on Earth am I going to do with them? I have some great plans for my berries, such as:
- Strawberry jam, with all of the varieties. This is nearly the whole reason I bought my canning pot. Strawberry jam, strawberry banana jam…. And then I’m going to mix up some fresh bread to spread it on. Yum.
- Stocking up the freezer. Strawberries are good all year round. I always freeze as many strawberries as I can, because they’re never as good as they are in early summer. And this way, once peaches are in season, I can make even more jam! (Strawberry peach, anyone?)
- Strawberry ice cream. I have a Kitchen Aid mixer, and I have the ice cream maker bowl. I don’t use it often, but strawberry season is a great reason to pull it out of the freezer and put it into use.
- Strawberry-inspired baking. Pie, crumble, shortcake… There are a hundred ways to use strawberries. I’m still gathering up my recipes, but I have a few ideas. Like this Fresh Strawberry Pie. And Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake.
- Strawberry pancake syrup. This is better with blueberries, but the strawberry version is really good, too. Start with this pancake syrup recipe. When the syrup is finished boiling, throw in some sliced up strawberries. The strawberries flavor the syrup, and lend it a beautiful red color. Pour into a jar (or empty syrup container) and you’re good to go.
You can also do what I love best: rinse them off and eat them by the handful. Or dip them into chocolate (I have a real weakness for the Philadelphia chocolate dips).
For anyone local looking for a place to pick, we like Grisamore Farms, up near Locke. They are my new favorite local produce destination, and they have the best apples in the fall. They also grow peaches (which I didn’t realize until this morning), blueberries, raspberries, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables. We’ll be regular customers up there all summer.
What are your favorite strawberry recipes? I always love to try something new; is there anything on your must-make list that I should try?