What else would you expect from a little Strawberry Pi?
Remembering fondly the strawberry patches of my youth, I drug Chris out to a farm half an hour outside of the city on Sunday. The weather was nice for strawberry-picking–a little humid and quite a bit overcast, but at least it cut down on the sun exposure. We debated over the size of the bins to get. My friend at work who recommended the farm to me had just come home with 15 pounds of strawberries, which was clearly crazy, even with her propensity of canning and her household of one husband and two children to help eat the berries. But I wanted to be sure we had enough berries! As I boasted to Chris (as any good Strawberry Pi would), “I could eat my weight in strawberries!” So we each got a cardboard box, and off we went.
Eleven pounds of strawberries later, I’m trying to get creative on ways to use strawberries, because they are too amazing to let them go bad! I’ve eaten a bunch and frozen a bunch more. I tried two different techniques. The first I used mom’s technique for–strawberries in syrup for ice cream or waffle goodness. I quartered a cup of strawberries, put them in a plastic bag, then mushed them a bit. I added about 2 tablespoons of sugar for each bag, mushed it up again, and then twist-tied it, letting the bags sit out on the counter for an hour before sticking them in the freezer. That will be exciting to eat later on! I also tried to wash and hull a bunch of berries, setting them in the fridge to dry and to get cold. I then put them on a cookie tray and froze them for about 4 hours, then zipped them up into a bag for later eating. I hope they turn out okay.
Next I made some chocolate-covered strawberries for my end-of-the-year picnic for work on Thursday. And I still probably had 4 pounds left, so I tried out my teacher-friend Dana’s fantastic recipe for strawberry-balsamic sauce. She says it’s great on ice cream, waffles, and pound cake; I’m looking forward to trying it on salmon or chicken, as well. Here’s the recipe, for those of you following along at home. (I halved the recipe and it worked just fine. I also tried it over angel food cake, and it was indeed quite delicious!)
8 cups strawberries
5 cups sugar
½ tsp butter
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Cut up strawberries. Cook strawberries over medium heat, slowly stirring in sugar (about 10 minutes or until all sugar is dissolved). Bring to a low boil, then allow to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Stir in balsamic and let cool. Can, freeze, or store in the fridge until ready for use.