I'm convinced that until yesterday, I had never tasted a strawberry. I have no idea what the cardboardy, bland dull pink things I was eating were, I just know that they pale in comparison to the hoard I ate yesterday. Wifeshow and I went out to roca berry farm yesterday afternoon and picked strawbs for about an hour. We netted 10.5 pounds. we were so excited the whole way home, driving in our deliciously berry-scented saturn, until we realized, "uhh...what are we going to do with 10.5 pounds of strawberries. Besides eat them as is, of course. Well, so far we made some preserves (which are mind bending, I must say) and a pretty tasty vinaigrette, but I think that I will make some strawberry-rhubarb something or other later on in the day. I am also going to make some smoked pork butt and convert it into a cassoulet of sorts. Better get going, here are a few recipes to try out, but do yourself a favor and go to roca berry farm, you can buy already picked if you are a lazy sack:)
4 pounds cleaned/stemmed/hulled strawbs
1 cup sugar
couple good squeezes lemon juice.
put the berries and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and squeeze them, mashing them up with your (clean) hands (think playing in the mud when you were little, except you can lick your fingers afterwards, even though I probably did anyway). Pour this mixture into a large saute pan with high sides and reduce over med-low heat for about 40 minutes, checking every 5 minutes to skim off foamy stuff. make sure it is not sticking to the bottom, you don't want to burn it. let cool completely and then store it in clean jars or whatever in the fridge. You can also can this stuff, just sterilize your jars and lids and then pour into those and following the directions here: canning tips
strawberry walnut vinaigrette:
1-2tbs balsamic vinegar
salt and peps (pinch or so)
roasted walnut oil
in a medium mixing bowl, smash up the berries with a fork, or spoon, or your thumb, or whatever, add the balsamic, salt and peps, and sugar. give it a little mix. while whisking this mixture, slowly pour in your oil until it emulsifies, you'll know when...trust me. use on salad or grilled fish/chicken, or as a dip for bread.
(note) the "1-2" tbs, is just depending on how much you want to make. Obviously, the more vinegar you add, the more oil you'll have to whisk in to get an emulsification. I tend to make dressing in small batches. just my own pref.
Cuisinart saute pan w/cover, 5.5 qt. I used this to make my preserves. I use it for tons of stuff, if you don't have a high-sided saute pan, you really should invest in one. I would consider it essential in your kitch.