So today is Strawberry Pickin' Day. I had a hair appointment this morning, and Greg was helping a friend decide if his bathtub is cracked, so we didn't get out to Pungo at our normal early hour. We didn't get out to Pungo at all. We drove down the street about 2 miles to a little farm stand and bought 5 things of strawberries. I don't know how big the things are - a pint or a quart or something. You can see them in the picture. We also bought some fresh-picked asparagus, which I will roast to go with dinner tonight. Yum.
|Locally grown strawberries and asparagus|
Greg has been working like a lumberjack all morning. When we got home with the strawberry haul, he wandered off to take a nap. I got started getting all these strawberries organized. First, I made some chocolate-covered ones. I just picked some big berries, and melted some Ghirardelli chips in the microwave, and went to work. Look!
|Guess how many are left?|
Years ago, one fine evening when I served strawberry shortcake to my father-in-law, he went off on a rant about how there's never enough sauce. Not just my sauce, nobody made sauce right. There's just never enough juice and the berry-to-juice ratio is always wrong Wrong WRONG. My usual method was to clean the strawberries, slice them into a big bowl, and sprinkle sugar all over them, stirring them occasionally until a sauce formed. To my knowledge, that was the accepted way. After his dad's rant, Greg and I decided we were going to make the sauciest strawberry shortcake sauce the world has ever known. Our first attempt was a winner. We sliced half of the strawberries, and put the other half in a blender, pureed them, and poured them over the sliced berries. Over time I've perfected this method and now when I puree the strawberries, I add a cup of simple syrup. Luscious, plenty of sauce, never any complaints.
Oh, anyway, after washing all the strawberries I laid them out on clean towels on the counter, dried them pretty well, and got to work cleaning them. Really dark ones went into the blender. Pureeing them makes kind of a light pink colored sauce so I try to use the darkest ones to get a darker sauce, because I think it's prettier.
|Beautiful clean strawberries|
When I had cleaned most of the berries, and had a blender full and a big bowl full, I put the remaining berries on a sheet pan and they are in the freezer. They will go into a plastic bag and be used in a future recipe. I love that there is no waste with this purchase. The strawberries will be eaten, the tops will go into the compost, the little blue pints or quarts or whatever are biodegradable so I can use them in the garden.
|Nothing is wasted|
|Puree the strawberries and simple syrup|
Stir, taste, swoon. These will sit in the fridge until time for dessert tonight, and the berries will soak up a little of the sauce while they sit there.