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Friday, July 4, 2014


On Tuesday, we went strawberry picking at a farm about 20 minutes from our house.  Berry picking has been on my summer bucket list for the past few years, but usually by the time I get to thinking about it, berry season is already over.  The farm we went to also has peas and raspberries, and raspberry season just started, so we may take a second trip in the next week or two (we'll see if we have the freezer space!).
 We ended up with two boxes of strawberries, nearly 12 pounds! That's a lot of berries at once.
I set up a system to process them right away.
I had a cookie sheet for the smallest berries, which I froze whole. Those will be used for smoothies. I ended up with 2 cookie sheets full, which was about 2 gallon size freezer ziplocs.  I flash froze them for a few hours on the cookie sheets so they wouldn't stick together in the bags.

I had a big bowl for the rest of them, and the white bowl above for the stems.  I ended up just using my fingers to squeeze the stems off, because that was way faster than using the knife! Rinse the berries, core the berries, slice the berries, repeat.  It actually didn't take as long as I thought it would. I did one box Tuesday morning right away, and the second after lunch.

On Wednesday, Jesse made a small batch of strawberry chia jam (just 2 cups of strawberries, 1/4 cup of honey, and a couple tablespoons of chia seeds, reduced for a few minutes on the stove). It is pretty tasty, although it's definitely more of a subtle-tasting jam than we thought it would be.

We also have some blueberries and cherries in the fridge, so a mixed berry jam might happen too.  I used the immersion blender to mash some berries up for strawberry syrup for French toast one morning as well, and that was delicious!  And, of course, strawberry shortcakes for dinner the first night! I don't think a berry picking day is complete without those!

We are just about berried out, but we have plenty left to save for later this summer! Have you ever gone berry picking? What's your favorite strawberry recipe?

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