I really, really have a thing for local, in season foods. While living in California — the mecca of local and fresh — I had my fair share of the local foods scene. Shoot, I basically lived at the farmer’s market; spending at least three days a week there. I indulged in succulent berries, juicy tomatoes, crisp lemon cucumbers… not to mention all the raw dairy and pastured meats I could put my hands on. Oh, and the bacon… and oysters. Ohhhhh the sweet, plump, oysters…
Sigh.. those were the days. San Francisco, when I come back to visit you, we’ll immerse ourselves in the local food scene and gorge on fresh food. They’ll have to pry me away from you…
Oh. Err, hey there. I was just reminiscing and longing for the food from my home state. Can you tell I miss it?
In Florida it’s been a bit harder for me to really soak into the local scene; the seasons are weird, the farmer’s market aren’t as bountiful, and the ones I do find, don’t really compare to the markets in the SF bay area. As you can imagine, I was a bit spoiled living in San Francisco. I need to lower my standards. But it’s hard. Don’t judge.
Anyway, when I heard that strawberries were coming into season and there was an organic u-pick farm only 20 minutes from where I live, well, I had a flash back of the strawberries I ate in California. There is absolutely nothing like a dark red, sun-kissed, in-season, juicy strawberry. NOTHING. I got excited. Like, I was counting down the days until Saturday arrived.
Needless to say, strawberry picking was a success. Between my mother-in-law and I, we picked 21lbs of strawberries and they were only $1.50 a pound! To me, that’s an insanely crazy good price for organic strawberries. If you go to Whole Foods and pick up a plastic carton of strawberries they’re like $6-$7 — a pack!
We probably had more than 21lbs but we may have eaten one too many while working out in the field. Well, actually, Andrew may have eaten all of them. I just worked my butt off and picked them. Lucky kid.
After picking the strawberries, we got home, unloaded the strawberries and it dawned on me that I now had to preserve 20lbs of strawberries! Shoot, they don’t just preserve themselves? That would be nice. Since fresh strawberries don’t last very long, I decided to freeze 18lbs of them so I can make all kinds of treats throughout the next couple months. My mother-in-law and I agreed one of the first things we’d make is homemade daiquiris– heyyyy!
So how does one freeze strawberries without becoming all clumped together and a mess? By flash freezing! I do this with my homemade meatballs and other berries so they don’t stick together and I can easily get as many as I want at a time.
Alright, so this is how we do it.
Step 1: Depending on how many strawberries you have, fill your sink with water
Step 2: Dump strawberries into sink
Step 3: Cut strawberry tops off; save for compost or throw in trash
Step 4: Place strawberries on baking sheet
Step 5: Place in freezer for 10-15 mins and then place into freezer zip lock bags.
If you have a lot of strawberries, like you know, 21lbs of strawberries place them on their cut ends to save space on the baking sheet so you can maximize your space.
And that’s it! Easy, right?