STRAWBERRIES 101.

nina | June 6th, 2013 - 9:00 am

It’s that time of the year when the sun’s warmth has reddened and sweetened strawberries to the max. No more pale woody centers and tasteless berries—these berries are the real thing. You’ll likely find the freshest strawberries at your local farmers’ market. If you’re lucky enough to have a farm nearby to pick-your-own, I say do it.

If you only have a quart of berries, leave them on the kitchen counter to fill the room with their sweet aroma. You’ll no doubt eat them before they can spoil.

But what do you do if you want to keep some on hand for a bit longer in the fridge, though. The freshest and best tasting strawberries rarely keep well for more than 4–5 days, but you can increase their life expectancy a bit by storing them in a tray in a single layer, uncovered, unhulled and unwashed (wash them before you eat them, not before storing). As pretty as they are in a pint basket, they tend to spoil more quickly when they’re left to press against one another.

Of course, there are countless ways to make good use of your bounty. Simply pureeing strawberries with a bit of sugar makes for a delicious sauce. Then there are some who will take their strawberries and make jam. Others will bake strawberry-rhubarb pies or crush the berries to spoon on shortcake with cream.

But if you want to enjoy your strawberries, say, months from now, you must freeze these babies. Wash the berries first. Do not hull before washing, or they’ll get waterlogged. Carefully dry them, then hull, and arrange berries in a single layer on baking sheets. Put the sheets in the freezer for an hour or two, and when they’re frozen, pack the strawberries in sealable plastic bags. They stay separate this way and are easy to take out just what you will need to have a little sunshine in the middle of winter.  ENJOY!

Source:  recipe.com, 6.4.2013

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