Saturday, June 2, 2012

No Sugar Necessary


 In the last couple of days, the strawberries have begun to ripen like crazy. First strawberry lesson of 2012.. The chickens have to be confined during the ripening season until we can build a special enclosure for these ground berries. A couple of our hens will make a bee-line straight for the strawberry patch and gobble them up faster than anything I've ever seen. It's no wonder! I harvested our first batch yesterday and was stunned by how incredibly sweet they are.

 I don't know if it's because they are better established in year two (they've spread like crazy), or if it is as a result of our unusual weather all winter and spring. I can assure you that even after growing up in California where strawberry fields are plentiful, these are the sweetest berries to ever enter my mouth. Another difference that I noticed is when slicing them, they are so dense and juicy that the texture was almost like butter. I don't mean that they are mushy, they aren't. Many times strawberries have a little hollow area inside just below where you remove the stem. You know what I'm talking about, the little white vein on the inside. These berries have no trace of that little pith, just perfectly concentrated berry.

When I opened Flipboard this morning and began looking through the recipes posted in the last 24 hours, the first four pages were chock full of strawberry recipes: Strawberry Oat Scones, Strawberry Strudel Muffins, Strawberry Salad, Strawberry Basil Lemonade. All mouthwatering recipes. How am I going to use this first batch? I'm going to make shortcakes and smother the tops of them with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream. I sliced the berries last night and put them in the fridge so they could sit in their juices overnight. When B asked if I had sprinkled them with sugar I replied by placing a slice in his mouth...no sugar necessary!

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