Saturday we went to Upinngil Farm and picked strawberries, which was lots of fun. We picked roughly 10 quarts, for which we paid $20. Quite a savings, considering that pints were going for $3.50 apiece at the farmers market the same day. The farm is beautiful, too, and Nate enjoyed getting a close look at the cows.
So what did I do with all those strawberries? Well, we saved out some to eat over the next few days, of course, but I also made strawberry shortcake and strawberry rhubarb jam. The rest (about 13 pints) went into the freezer after washing and hulling. I canned the five pints of jam--canning jam is easy because the fruit is has plenty of acid and the jars only need to boil for five minutes--so we can eat it at our leisure or give it away as gifts. You can also freeze jam if you don't want to bother with canning, but then it's not as suitable for giving away.
A friend asked me last night what we would do with all the frozen strawberries. There are lots of options. Quite a few will probably go into smoothies. They will also present some nice brunch possibilities, thawed and warmed or even cooked into sauce for pancakes or crepes. I could always make more jam later, too. Or they might go into homemade sorbet, which I like because it doesn't require an ice cream maker (puree the fruit with some yogurt or simple syrup and serve immediately, or freeze again, then put the frozen product through a food processor again before serving). And, of course, there are plenty of pie/crisp/cobbler options, perhaps in combination with other fruits as they come into season, or else combined with other frozen fruits later in the winter. Another friend suggested strawberry ice cream, which would be a great idea if I had an ice cream maker.