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Strawberries
by Margaret Watson
05/24/06
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Strawberries

Last night I saw people buying strawberries Ė the huge ones at inflated prices that taste of nothing. In my own plot the bees are busy and weíll be picking the fruit in about three weeks time Ė and they will taste so wonderful you canít believe it.

On a trip to France some years ago we had coffee with friends in their beautiful old house in the Charante valley. It was early September, bees buzzed and flowers bloomed and the air was warm and sultry.

We ate scones with strawberries and Sophie told me of the long hot summer they had had. The house is well outside the village, and set back from the road, a peaceful, cool house with ancient, thick walls. One day while working in the kitchen she heard a noise she couldnít place. She looked out, but couldnít see anything. The noise persisted, not loud, just a gentle simmering sort of sound. She thought that maybe a cat had had kittens, but it was the wrong time of year for that.
When her son came home from school he went out to investigate. At first he found nothing, then he began to laugh Ė ĎItís the strawberries. They are cookingí. And so they were Ė which is why we were eating scones with strawberries from the freezer.

The urban myth is that you canít freeze strawberries, but it is perfectly possible. No, they wonít be the same as fresh ones, but neither will they be tasteless mush. Two methods that Iíve tried work. If you donít have too many place them on trays in the freezer with a little space between each berry. When they are frozen solod pack them in boxes and return them to the freezer. These are fine for decorating a cheesecake or filling a sponge.

The second method is for when you have a glut. Layer them in boxes and pour granulated sugar over each layer until you canít see the berries. This time it doesnít matter if the fruit touch as long as you donít squeeze too many in. Iíve used these later for jam making. Just remove the fruit, weigh the sugar that is left in the boxes and use that for your jam Ė enjoy!


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Member Comments
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Virginia Gorg 24 May 2006
What a true statement: "huge ones at inflated prices that taste of nothing." I remember picking small strawberries from a neighboring field and they were juicy & delicious. Cute article, well written, and brings back memories of young & carefree days.




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