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I mentioned yesterday that we took the kids strawberry picking. I was the only one who did any real picking. E was busy finding three spiders and six grasshoppers, and A was preoccupied stuffing her face with berries. I, however, managed to pick 8 lbs of gorgeous, sun-ripened strawberries.
The tricky thing about fresh picked berries is that they spoil in about 48 hours. I know, those California berries last for over a week in the fridge, but our Virginia variety will over-ripen as soon as you turn your back. This means you've got two days to freeze, preserve, or consume 8 lbs of strawberries!
Freezing is easy. Just hull, wash, and pat dry your berries. Then place them upright on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer for 24 hours. Once they are fully frozen you can store in a gallon ziplock bag for 2-3 months in the freezer.
Jelly takes a little more time, but is so worth it. Strawberries taste best fresh, so use this simple freezer jam recipe: 1) Buy a package of Sure-Jell. 2) Follow the directions. Yes, it's that's simple. If you really need a step-by-step pictorial, you can visit my sister's blog. And if the 4:2 ratio of sugar to berries scares you, just buy the lower sugar variety of Sure-Jell (although it won't be quite as yummy).
One batch will take about an hour of your time - a great way to spend the afternoon with your adorable assistant!
While your jam is setting up, you have just enough berries left for this easy pie.
No-Bake Strawberry Pie
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 T strawberry jello
- 3 T cornstarch
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1 prepared Keebler's shortbread pie crust
- several cups of strawberries
Wash and hull the strawberries, filling the pie crust. Stir the sugar, water, jello, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice. Pour mixture evenly over the strawberries and place in fridge. Allow at least an hour to set. Then watch it disappear!
My pie and jelly were a success, but I'm afraid I failed at finding more strawberry-themed books. I admit I dislike Jamberry, and while I love Blueberries for Sal, it's a blueberry book. Where are all the books about strawberries? I can find dozens on apples and pumpkins. Why is summer fruit so under-represented? Do you know of any good strawberry books I missed?