u-pick strawberries + three easy ways to process berries at home

last week we carved out a couple of hours for strawberry picking! we packed a few baskets with snacks, picked up our sweet nephew for the adventure & headed off to our favorite u-pick farm, dickey farms in tontitown! 

on saturday we spent the morning hours in the kitchen baking bread (luke) & processing strawberries (me). we harvested about 12 quarts of berries - quite a bit less than our usual but a manageable amount given our current season of life. 

there are so many ways to process a large volume of strawberries - shrubs! liquor! baked goods! - but i thought i'd share the three ways i processed our berries last saturday morning!

1. strawberry jam - i pulled out one of my favorite canning cookbooks, preserving by the pint, & made her honey-sweetened strawberry jam with a hint of thyme. i would highly recommend this canning book for processing small batches, but i actually found the recipe online here if you're interested. 

2. strawberry shortcake - we met with friends for an evening of feasting & card playing on saturday night. nothing quite beats strawberry shortcake with fresh-from-the-farm berries. i purchased the shortcake at the grocer & paired it with sliced strawberries. don't forget the homemade whipped cream. simple & sweet!

3. frozen berries - we love having farm fresh berries all year long so i make sure to always harvest more than we can eat. we enjoy smoothies, muffins & other baked goods with the berries i freeze in the spring. i freeze my berries on a baking sheet to prevent sticking & then once they are fully frozen, i bag them up for the freezer. don't forget parchment paper or a silpat between the berries and your baking sheet - this makes for much lighter work. 

 there's nothing more enjoyable than picking berries on a beautiful spring day & rewarding yourself with the bounty for months to come!

i'd love to read the many ways you process strawberries in your own kitchen. please share your ideas in the comments below!



Debbie Fisher (debbiedee) said...

I make strawberry jam, strawberry rhubarb jam, strawberry syrup for ice cream, pancakes, and italian sodas. we don't have a lot of freezer space due to being full of our apple cider we make, deer, and beef we process ourselves, so my jams are canned and not frozen.

When I make the syrup the crushed strawberries that the juice is strained from is saved and used on homemade angel food cake, pancakes, waffles and ice cream.

I've never made strawberry jam with thyme. i think i'll give that a try. strawberry season isn't until june here.

Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

Why aren't we NEIGHBORS???!?!?

sonrie said...

I make strawberry balsamic jam each year. I don't can it - I just freeze all the jars; it doesn't last that long anyway because it is just so amazing!!

Anonymous said...

I always want to freeze them, but never know.....should I wash them first?

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