Friday, May 18, 2012
Garden Pilgrimage: Strawberry Fields
Does it seem like a whole year ago that we made strawberry jam on here? Well, it was. And before that, we shared a baked strawberry pie. So what to do with our strawberry honoring post this year? Let's make a garden pilgrimage of it! Right now is a heavy traffic time at the berry patch as everything from preschooler field trips video sessions to migrant workers' getting special delivery Pizza Hut lunches--these and more can be found milling about here. Remember, when you support these u-pick farms and roadside markets, you are stimulating your own local economy, a benefit above and beyond all the good that the fresh and nutritious produce does your body!
Strawberries are one of those fruits that is quite nutritious. They have high levels of vitamin C and are a great source for vitamin A, iron and a variety of other minerals--especially if you fresh pick the berries yourself! So how do you decide what constitutes a good berry? Ripe berries are full red, have a bright luster and firm flesh. To pick them, grasp the stem, twist it a bit and then pull sharply, snapping the stem off about 1/2 inch above the berry. Remember medium berries taste better than large ones, and small sweet ones make the best tasting jams!
Strawberry butter--mash the berries and mix with butter and confectioner's sugar to taste.
Quick dessert for large berries--slice whole fresh berries in half, leaving the stem on. Spread fruit-flavored cream cheese between the two halves and press the berry halves back together.