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Strawberry Pickin'

Make the most of your native berries.

Strawberry Pickin’

The native strawberry season is upon us … short … but hopefully sweet! 

So, grab the kids and go pickin’.  There are plenty of local spots to pick your berries, the closest probably being The Pickin' Patch on Nod Road.   

Once you get started, it’s hard to know when enough is enough, and before long, you’re loading a flat of berries or more into the trunk of your car.

Highly perishable, strawberries have a limited life span in the refrigerator, so it’s good to have a plan in mind as to how you want to use these native gems.  Sliced on cereal, mixed with melons and pineapple into fruit salad, or sweetened and ladled over shortcake biscuits are traditional and excellent uses.

    Take the biggest, most beautiful berries and make a special dessert to finish a summer meal.  Wash and dry the berries.  Dip each into sour cream (or plain yogurt for a low fat option) and then finish by pressing them into light brown sugar.  A strange combination? ... No, just delicious. As the berries begin to become more ripe, blend the berries into fresh strawberry  daiquiris, or their non-alcoholic counterparts — fresh fruit smoothies.  Slice the berries into a bowl of romaine and Boston lettuces, add a few sliced almonds or chopped pecans, some thinly sliced red onion, perhaps some crumbled goat cheese and toss it all together with a light vinaigrette.  Lastly, for a refreshing starter course to a casual sit-down meal, serve a chilled strawberry melon soup.  Recipe will follow.

Whatever you choose to do with your crop, be sure not to let any go to waste.  Although berries are now available yearlong in most supermarkets, none can compare to the ones grown right here and picked with love and smiles.

There are loads of variations on this wonderful soup, but this one presents beautifully!

Strawberry Melon Soup

makes 4 (1 cup) servings

Puree in blender or food processor:

½ honeydew melon, seeded and cubed with 2 Tbs fresh lime juice and 1 tsp. sugar

Pour into a 2 c. measure and chill.

Puree in blender or food processor:

1 pint ripe strawberries rinsed and hulled with 2 Tbs granulated sugar

Pour into a 2 cup measure (add orange juice to the mixture if necessary to make 2 cups).   Chill.

To serve:  Into 4 bowls, ladle the two mixtures side by side and use a knife to carefully swirl them together.

Renee Rossi June 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM
Never would have put the sour cream/brown sugar combo. Just tried it - delicious! Thanks for the idea.

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