Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Guide to Strawberry Picking

We went to a wonderful farm last week to pick strawberries! If you have never done this you absolutely must! To find a location near you try here. The farm we went to also had amazing fresh homemade ice cream. We got sweet potatoes as well for some baby food. That night it felt so good to be eating fresh locally grown food for dinner!

We picked about 10.5 pounds and PB left with a red stained face :) I have gone strawberry picking every year for quite a while so I thought I would put together some tips!
Start by doing your research!
  1. Try not to go on a weekend.
  2. Look for berries that are: completely red, not too soft, deeper in color.
  3. With the strawberry between two the pointer and middle fingers gently pull. Try not to squish the berry.
  4. We were picking by the container and not the pound so we gently shook the bucket to get more in.
  5. Use them quickly so they do not rot!
  6. To hull strawberries you can just cut the tops off, use a strawberry or tomato huller (a quick search on Amazon comes up with quite a few options), or you can use a straw. I tried to the straw method and I found the bigger straws you get from restaurants work better than the typical ones you get at the store. 

 A few things I did this year with my berries:

  1. Eat them fresh! I cut them up and sprinkle a little sugar on them to bring out the juices.
  2. Simple Preserves
  3. Frozen slices for shakes. I mixed with blueberries and frozen yogurt to make them extra yummy! I slice them thick and put them on wax paper on a cookie sheet. I flash froze them until they were half way frozen and put them in a bag. 
  4. In a Simple Syrup
After enjoying and sharing more than half of what we picked I sorted them into four categories. No bad spots (frozen slices), one bad spot (simple syrup), multiple bad spots (preserves), and inedible (yuck!). Here are pictures of what I was left with.
From L to R Ugly, Bad, Good


Frozen whole

Simple syrup is in the closed containers, the pureed preserves are still cooling in the small containers which fit about 1/4 of a cup., and the frozen strawberries ready for the freezer

With some of the preserves I made muffins and I plan on making some pancakes.

Strawberry Preserves Bisquick Muffins

2 cups Bisquick
1/3 cup Sugar
1 Egg
2/3 cup Milk
1/3-1/2 cup preserves (I only used 1/4 and there wasn't enough to taste the strawberry)

Mix together all ingredients but preserves. I had to add a little extra milk to make it the right consistency then add in preserves.. Fill greased muffin tin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 13-18 minutes. Mine were done on the lower end. Since mine didn't have quite enough strawberry flavor we added preserves on top and they were really tasty! Enjoy!


Just Jaime said...

Great tips! I want to go this weekend! PB reading is adorable!

Tracy said...

I love picking berries. We used to do this every year.
I freeze mine the same way as you do :) Slice them and then freeze them....if there are any left that is, lol.

Heather Landry said...

I love that you froze them! I never think to do that when mine are about to go bad. Then you could just throw them right into a smoothie.

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