It’s strawberry season, y’all! Time to go find a pick-your-own farm near you and get busy! The farm we go to - like many PYO farms, I imagine – offers a cheaper price per pound if you buy more than a certain amount. In the case of strawberries, that’s 20 pounds. So naturally, I had to pick 20+ pounds of strawberries! Why pay $2.59 a pound when I can pay $2.09?
And as much as The Guys and I love strawberries, there’s no way we could plow through 20 pounds of them before they went bad. After all, strawberries start to deteriorate almost as soon as you’ve picked them off the plant, so they have to be eaten rather quickly.
That was fine with me, though. At any rate, my entire purpose in picking strawberries was to preserve them so we could enjoy them for the 10 months of the year when they are not in season, so 20 pounds was perfect for me!
So what did I do with all those berries? I spent a decent portion of the weekend “putting them up” as the grandmas would say, and this is what I did:
- I froze probably about 10 pounds of strawberries following these directions for freezing berries. I sliced about half of them and just packed them into freezer bags without bothering to flash freeze them. The rest I left whole and those I did flash freeze. My plan is to see which method I prefer as I use them throughout the rest of the year. (My opinion at the moment is that slicing them takes up a lot less space, but might render them less accessible.)
- I dehydrated about a pound of strawberries, which wasn’t much, especially because they shrink considerably as they dry! To dehydrate, I sliced each strawberry into about 3 slices and laid them on a dehydrator tray. Once I set it going, the drying process took probably 4-6 hours. I’m not 100% sure because I got busy doing other things and going places and I don’t really know for sure how long it took. I do know that we all left the house for the evening, so I turned off the dehydrator and then forgot to turn it back on. Ugh! I had to throw out the strawberries that hadn’t dehydrated completely, which thankfully was not too many. Next time around, I will definitely dry more strawberries… and I won’t run off, leaving them unattended, either!
- I also made some jam. I experimented this year with jam made from home-made pectin. That’s another post for another day. I also made two batches of jam using Pomona’s pectin, one which I froze, and one which I canned.
- I made smoothies for breakfast one morning using the Straw-nana Berry Smoothie recipe from Spring Into Smoothies (Pssst! Spring Into Smoothies is available FREE to all my subscribers!)
- I gave away some of the strawberries. What good is all that bounty if you don’t give some away?
- I made this delicious Sour Cream Strawberry Ice Cream. Oh. My. It was sooooo gooooood. I didn’t have quite enough sour cream, so I used part plain yogurt, and wow! The most delicious ice cream ever! I also only used half a cup of (unrefined) sugar, and it was perfectly sweet. (Of course, the berries were picked ripe, so they were nice and sweet already.)
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