Actually, it’s probably not as bad as it would have been if I had picked them too. Instead, we hired the old babysitter to pick them for us at a local u-pick spot. She’s younger (by half) and it doesn’t hurt for her to crawl around picking strawberries like it does this 40-something. I’m not that bendy anymore.
I have now processed 12 litres of strawberries into 22 jars of strawberry freezer jam, 5 bags of macerated berries (also for the freezer) and we’ve had them for dessert twice now (not including the 2 extra bowls I had for lunch and breakfast). If it wasn’t for being invited to the farm for dinner last night, I wouldn’t have eaten anything but red berries all day. No, that’s wrong – I briefly forgot the trip into the museum for a strawberry social. So there was cake mixed in with the berries at one point at least.
I did learn something about berry processing this weekend that I had not previously thought about. I’ve been doing it wrong for years apparently. You should wash the berries first, before hulling them, then they don’t get waterlogged in the resulting holes and overly mushy, especially if you intend to freeze whole berries. My father in law found that gem while leafing through one of my library cookbooks.
My other favourite tip for strawberries is to put some Amaretto on them. If you are serving them over ice cream, let them macerate in a little bit of Amaretto and sugar. I even added some to the jam that I made. It didn’t seem to affect the gelling at all, and added the taste that we like. I always double the jam recipe (on the pectin box), so the amount I splashed in was probably somewhere between 3 tbsp and 1/4 cup (who measures, really?).
And I’ve still got strawberries in the fridge.. so now its a toss-up between strawberry jam on toast for breakfast or strawberries on yogurt and granola. Or both.