Big, fat, sexy, sensuous and seductive California Strawberries. How can you go wrong? “But they’re so expensive,” you say. Of course they’re expensive. They’re a stoop crop, like asparagus. That means it’s back breaking work to harvest them. They are not harvested with machines like most crops, because they don’t ripen all at the same time. The harvesters must go into the fields, and individually hand pick only the berries that are ready for picking at the time. How would you like to spend 8 hours a day pending over picking things up off the floor. That’s what harvesting strawberries is like. So, think of someone’s aching back and stiff fingers the next time you think strawberries cost too much.
But, once you have gotten beyond the cost, ah, the glories of strawberries. What’s the best way to serve them? To me the best way is to open mouth, inert berry, then grin…
The next best way is most likely a real, old fashion, honest to goodness Strawberry Shortcake.
Another lovely thing to do with strawberries is to make “That 50’s Thing.”
I do not like strawberries cooked in any other than made into strawberry preserves and I absolutely detest strawberry/rhubarb pie. I enjoy strawberry pie and I love rhubarb pie, but I think combining them is a despicable thing to do to either fruit.
Easy Whole Fruit Strawberry Preserves
Now, to make excellent, whole fruit Strawberry Preserves, simply stem and wash the berries and put them whole into a heavy pot. Add an equal amount of sugar. Turn on the heat to medium, cover with a tight fitting lid. Shake the pot, don’t stir. Check frequently and shake the pot each time. When the berries have released their liquid and the sugar is all dissolved, turn the heat off and allow to sit over night. The next day, remove the lid, turn the heat on to medium-low and cook, shaking the pan frequently to prevent scorching, until the liquid is reduced and will turn into jelly when a spoon full is left to sit on a plate. This is absolutely delectable.
To make a delectable and oh so easy Strawberry Cordial, hull, wash and slice ripe strawberries. Place berries with an equal amount of sugar in a mason jar in alternate layers. Fill the jar with inexpensive brandy. Screw down the lid and leave in a cool, dark place for at least six weeks. Strain and bottle the liquid.