This week JF and I picked 3 large baskets of strawberries. They were extremely ripe, so the rest of the week was a marathon of preserving, baking and eating before they went bad!I had just enough rhubarb in the garden (first harvest!) to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie. (Note: Ed Lawrence says to never harvest more than 1/3 of the rhubarb stalks at one time)
We had lots of smoothies, and put up the rest of the berries in 1 of 3 ways:
1. frozen - on a cookie sheet until firm and then in a container. I'm not sure what I'll do with these later on, jam or baking I suppose, as the berries will be mushy.
2. dehydrated - the flavour becomes so concentrated, it's delicious! I can't wait to have this mid-winter in oatmeal or granola. I preferred the look of mandolin sliced berries as opposed to halved berries.
2.5 - we dehydrated the strawberry hulls as well, for use later on making strawberry tea (good hot or cold!). Caution: Strawberry leaves must be thoroughly dried or completely fresh in order to be edible.
3. Jam! - we successfully reached gel point in our first ever jam making. I've got strawberries macerating for a second batch of jam, this time vanilla strawberry. Mmm!
What are your favorite ways to preserve strawberries?