I have been seriously slacking on my blog posts. They’re now just building up in my head until I’m sure I’ll do a word vomit in one night. Recently (and by “recently,” I mean “two weeks ago”), I went strawberry picking with my friend, Niki.
The last time we picked strawberries, we were ambitious and naive.. so we picked 36 pounds of strawberries and lugged home 18 pounds each. To be fair, it’s charged per basket and if you pick six baskets, you only need to pay for five. This year, though, we were smart. We each picked 12 pounds instead. If you’re looking to go strawberry picking from Chicago, Thompson Strawberry Farm is your best bet. And go fast, because strawberry season is soon ending!
Some tips for strawberry picking:
- The ripest ones are the ones hidden below the leaves & closest to the ground (because people don’t want to bend that far).
- Best strategy: put baskets on ground, squat, and pick. Because, see above.
- Eat the ones with any tinge of bruises. That mushiness spreads, you do not want those with your strawberries.
- Watch the weather. It was pretty muddy when we went so we brought a towel. Also, bring extra baskets, containers with breathing room for the strawberries.
And tips for strawberry storage:
- Process your strawberries immediately. Wash & then air dry on towels. Eat all the bruised or cut strawberries immediately or store them in a separate container (to eat very soon).
- Line a glass jar with paper towels. Loosely store strawberries. Cap the jar.
- Another option is to buy produce savers like this one from Rubbermaid. I lucked out and had bought a set earlier that day.
- If you can’t eat them all, freeze them.
More things to do with strawberries:
And now, what to do with all these strawberries? I decided to make a pie chart, because I happen to like pretty graphics. A good portion of the strawberries went to eating (5 lbs), my friend (2 lbs), and milkshakes (1.5 lbs). The remainder became suspect to my food trials.
Preserves: Strawberries + sugar + stove. Boil down strawberries. Jar. Cool. Stick in fridge.
Spritzer: Strawberries + tonic water + sage syrup. Muddle strawberries. Add tonic water & sage syrup to taste. I don’t expect anyone to have sage syrup just lying around. I happen to have a lot leftover that I need to use up.
Roast with chicken drumsticks: Strawberries + veggies + chicken drumsticks + oven. Marinate or rub your favorite spices into your chicken drumsticks. I used soy sauce, brown sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper. Roast everything together, flipping the drumsticks halfway through.
I’m pretty certain that my sugar intake that week spiked like no other. But now, I’m getting to be a pro at eating a ton of strawberries by myself in a very short amount of time.