Strawberry Season

Strawberries, lettuce and spinach from the gardenStrawberries are in full swing. We have been enjoying strawberries on pancakes in the morning, mixed into green salads, sliced and marinated in balsamic vinegar for spinach salads and in the evening on a scoop of ice cream. Oh, and several times throughout the day, a walk through the garden for a handful to eat as I go.

The robins have converged and hang around in the fruit trees all day long waiting for each berry to ripen. The barn cats take advantage of the flying feasts and have been finding hiding spots in the foliage while they attempt to wait for dinner to arrive. The birds are pretty savvy and little comes out of the cat and mouse, errrr… cat and bird game other than a temporary lull in the berry pecking done by the quick robins.

On days when there are more berries than we can consume short term, I pick some to be washed and placed on cookie sheets to freeze for winter. Once frozen they are transferred to gallon sealed bags keeping each berry individual and any portion size can be taken out of the bag rather than having to thaw a gallon at a time.

fresh strawberries whole and slice in dehydratorStill other berries are washed, sliced and set in the dehydrator. The berries are dried before packing into quart sized sealed bags. The dehydrated berries will be a welcomed addition to the dried mixed fruit that I call ’emergency fruit’ that I like to carry with me and have available as a snack anytime.

I love the smell as the dehydrator is doing its thing. A single step into the house and one would swear someone was making strawberry jam.

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