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Our First Strawberry Crop--What to Make?

This truly seems miraculous to a city girl....plant little strawberry plants and they actually form flowers that in turn become strawberries!

I can make strawberry shortcake, but I'm wondering if you have any other suggestions for a summer full of strawberries. I'm not much of a baker, but I'm willing to give it a try. Also, wondering if there other interesting things to do with the strawberries. If it matters, the type of strawberries are Ozark Beauty. Thank you.

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  1. I have this salad bookmarked to try, it includes a recipe for strawberry vinegar, which sounds interesting.

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

    This tart recipe always comes out well, and it isn't finicky, so would be pretty easy if you're a new baker:
    http://blogs.discovery.com/tlc-steamy...
    I usually make it in one large pan rather than small tartlets.

    Also, strawberry salsa, and if you drink, the cocktail options are endless. I always end up eating my strawberries plain before I can come up with something to bake/cook from them. A pound a day is nothing for me!

    1. Well, my firsts would be fresh strawberries over ice cream, just plain strawberries and cream, strawberry jam, strawberry tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries, strawberries over waffles with whipped cream, strawberries with angel food cake and whipped cream/ice cream, strawberry lemonade, and as yamalam said, cocktails are endless.

      9 Replies
      1. re: boyzoma

        All great suggestions and I hope to try many. My only concern...I found two of our very fat groundhogs near the strawberry patch. I'm hoping they don't like strawberries!

        1. re: DaisyM

          Oh boy, do they LOVE strawberries! Can you throw some netting over them? If you don't, the fatties will decimate your berries. Good luck!

          1. re: visciole

            Oh boy were you right. Went out this morning and my fat friends had taken one bite out of each ripe strawberry. Really sad about this.

            1. re: DaisyM

              If it makes you feel any better I learned this the hard way, too! Seriously, those buggers will eat just about anything, and if you want to grow any edibles and you've got them, your best bet is to make a fence. A good fence. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but these fatties are the bane of every fruit and vegetable
              gardener's existence. So sorry you lost the berries!

              1. re: DaisyM

                Hopefully you will have enough to share. Early in the season I battle slugs ( not impossible, but it requires picking them off or chemicals), later it's the birds. The birds cackle at me, and wait, as I come flying out of my back door. I once used netting to protect my figs. Unfortunately the netting blue off, and I caught several huge snakes instead.

                1. re: Shrinkrap

                  We finally gave up on growing tomatoes because the groundhogs would wait until they were ripe and take one bite out of each one. Sort of like a kid who is looking through a box of chocolates trying to find one he likes. They would climb over and even through the fence. Finally, we gave up. But I thought because we planted the strawberries away from their burrow that maybe, just maybe they wouldn't notice. I know, magical thinking. Anyway, the netting is on the strawberries and I'm going to pray that they leave us just one strawberry.

                  1. re: DaisyM

                    Try a chicken wire fence where the wire is strung a little loosely between the uprights -- groundhogs don't like to climb stuff that moves. When you're building the fence, leave about a foot or two on the ground which you can fold over on top of the earth, and then cover it with rocks or something to weigh it down. That usually keeps them from digging under.

          2. re: boyzoma

            Those sound good--I would also keep them fresh and don't cook them. I like to mix them into fresh ricotta, drizzle honey and add chopped dark chocolate.

          3. We go through a couple of pounds of strawberries every week this time of year. Besides slicing them in breakfast cereal, into puddings, making strawberry shortcakes, topping waffles with strawberries and whipped cream, stuffing rolled up pancakes with chopped strawberries, and using them for strawberry vinaigrette, one of our favorite ways to use them is in Strawberry-rhubarb cobbler. If you haven't tried that, you're missing out on one of the greatest desserts life has to offer.

            1. Be sure to try Cooks Illustrated's small batch easy fruit jam. Small amounts, less sugar, no canning.

              http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/0...

              1 Reply
              1. re: Shrinkrap

                i made wonderful strawberry banana jam as one of my jams in my mother's day gift bags last week... i did can it, but if you plan to make a small batch or give some away, you don't *have* to...

                i used 8 cups of strawberries
                2 bananas
                roughly 3 cups white sugar
                2 cups brown sugar
                1 tsp vanilla
                3 tbsp or so lemon juice
                1 box pectin

                i put strawbs in a micro safe bowl and cooked in some water / dash of molasses combo that i used to cook my apple. i nuked til easily mashable. mash them til the pieces are as tiny as you like. meanwhile, i mashed one banana and finely chopped the other. add fruit to pot and bring to a boil. stir in pectin, bring to a boil, then stir in sugar, bring to a hard boil, and boil hard for 1 minute or so til it reaches desired consistency. skim foam. ladle in jars, canning if desired. it was VERY well received, and deepened over a few days.

              2. fill donuts like Donut Man in Glendora

                macerate them with balsamic vinegar, sugar, and black pepper to eat or eat over vanilla ice cream

                dehydrate them. then use them as pieces in cookies or blondies or in oatmeal.