Tuesday, April 27, 2010

So Many Strawberries!

After coming home from the U-pick farm I had the job of cleaned up all the berries. The kids helped cut some of them up for eating, and the rest all went into the freezer.

It took about 3hrs to clean them all up (thank goodness for movies on the lap top!), but it went faster after I set up a little system. I had one bowl for soaking, one for trash, one for draining, and one for the finished, ready to bag berries. I think by the time I got them put away I had eaten my weight in strawberries.
We ended up with 4 gallon bags in the freezer, 3 cups of chopped berries, and about 2lbs left whole for eating during the week. 
I have big plans for the frozen berries! I have already used one bag for strawberry smoothies, 3 canned jars of Emeril's strawberry syrup, and some awesome strawberry/banana muffins. It really worked out nice to make the syrup and the muffins at the same time, because I needed to skim some of the large strawberry pieces off the top of my cooking syrup, so I just put them straight in to the muffin batter. No waste, and the muffins were delicious! 

I am also planning to can some strawberry jam, but I think I will have to borrow a large canning pot for that. My dutch oven pot is just not big enough for doing more than 3 or 4 small jars, and if I am going to can jam I want to do a big batch.
Do you have a wonderful recipe for using up loads of delicious strawberries? Leave the recipe or a link in the comments, I would love to see it!

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