Monday, May 19, 2008

A Week of Strawberries - Part I - Fresh, Frozen Strawberries

Fresh N.C. Strawberries!

My dad says that he almost hates to see us do anything to fresh strawberries; it's almost a waste, he says. He just loves fresh, sweet berries. And who doesn't? Granted, I like a bit of sugar and milk on mine, but still. He's lucky we're in North Carolina - where it's strawberry season - and farms abound with fresh, juicy berries this time of year and he can afford to buy gallon after gallon. I think we've probably bought, what, 20 gallons so far? Yes. Twenty gallons. I can hear you asking - what did you do with all those berries? Well, several things, and I'm going to share with you this week, in three parts, exactly what we've done.

If you want strawberries year-round, you have to freeze them. Yes, jam is good (more on that later). And yes, frozen whole berries from the store are available, but if you want sweet local berries in October for pies and cakes, you have to do a little bit of work in May when they're filling local farmland. And that's exactly what we did. It's simple, really.

Frozen, Sweetened Berries
By Confabulation in the Kitchen
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1. Wash, cap and slice fresh berries.
2. Measure out one quart of berries, pour into large bowl.
3. Add one cup of sugar (or splenda, we do some that way, too) to berries and stir.
4. Put in pint to pint-and-a-half containers and deep freeze until you're ready to use them.

See? Four steps! And you're ready to bake pies (all you have to add is the crust and some butter) and cakes and anything else you can think of. It couldn't be easier. How do you save fresh strawberries? Tell us all!

12 comments:

  1. i never would have thought of freezing them sweetened. Clever!

    I feel the same way about tomatoes that your dad does about strawberries. I always grow them and eat tons but rarely eat them anything but raw.

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  2. My mom freezes them the same way. I don't have enough freezer room right now to do that. I do like to freeze some just plain, without sugar.

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  3. yeay for strawberry season! I kind of agree with your dad, I almost hate to do anything with sweet fresh strawberries too... good idea to freeze them.

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  4. i almost have to agree with your dad! it's hard for me to use strawberries in baking because in the process of making the dish, i tend to eat most of the berries that were meant to be used... :)

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  5. You are so right, North Carolina has wonderful fresh strawberries. In fact, if you're interested, I have an article being posted tomorrow on NPR's Kitchen Window on strawberries, and I start off by mentioning the Raleigh Farmers' market!

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  6. Local straberries should be coming soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. YUM! I just made a super yummy strawberry dessert I'm gonna post about ASAP!! I LOVE strawberries! We've only been buying locally grown ones this year and they are really awesome!! I'd grow them myself... but they would die on day one. My green thumb ran away I think.

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  8. I'm with you, Abby! Frozen strawberries mean you can enjoy them at any time of year!

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  9. My Grandmother used to freeze them the same way. I used to raid her freezer as a kid & pray she would have them waiting when we arrived. Yum!

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  10. Hi Abby,
    It's me again. The strawberry piece is running next Wed, not today. Oops.
    Hope you're feeling well. :)
    Susan

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  11. I absolutely love strawberries! Freezing them is a great idea!

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  12. when we were kids we use to eat strawberries with milk and sugar too! i love having berries of all kinds in the frezzer to use in the winter, i am jealous of your freezer full of strawberries! lol

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