We have been eating LOTS of strawberries lately. Fresh, local berries - not imported from anywhere (well, I did drive them home in my car). The summers here are so short that I just go into a fresh fruit and veggie frenzy as soon as things start growing. First comes the rhubarb, then wild strawberries, then cultivated strawberries. By that point the garden is usually producing something - lettuce, spinach, green onions. Raspberries come next and then blackberries and blueberries. Last of all are cranberries (there's nothing quite like cranberries picked off the beach).
Back to the strawberries, though. Of course, we've been eating them raw (Robbie has to have his cooked because of his plant enzyme allergy thing. We pretty much have a microwave just so he can eat fruit.) I've also made freezer jam and sorbet. Both are super easy recipes. For the freezer jam I just follow the recipe on the Garden Fare package.
The strawberry sorbet is pretty easy too. Boil 1 1/4 cups water with 3/4 cup sugar for 5 minutes to make a syrup. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Purée 3 cups strawberries (hulls and stems removed) in the blender until smooth, then add the cooled syrup and blend. Pour into a shallow metal baking dish. Put in the freezer and let it freeze until it's getting solid around the edges. Stir to break up the frozen areas and return to the freezer. keep doing this until it is slushy and can be scooped. Serve or transfer to a tightly sealed container and keep in the freezer. This makes about 4 cups (probably slightly more). I got this recipe from a magazine (Today's Parent, July 2006). The original recipe also calls for lemon juice, but I leave that out. It might be a touch on the sweet side, but I think you could cut the sugar back to 1/2 cup.
It also makes a nice sauce for vanilla ice cream, as I found out when I couldn't get mine to freeze in time for a social. Everybody wanted the recipe.
It's a delicious time of the year! Thanks for visiting today.