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I took my girls strawberry picking this morning and came home with seven quarts. I was hoping for a bit more, but it was hot and sticky and the berries not overwhelmingly plentiful. I made jam on Saturday—a double batch of straight up strawberry and a double of strawberry rhubarb—so even though I was intrigued by the idea of a strawberry basil jam, I crossed jam off my list today. I love making jam, but I admit I wasn’t too upset to avoid a steamy kitchen.

strawberries for freezing, pie, ice cream, popsicles, and flavored drink cubesHere’s what I did instead:

  1. Froze them whole. I like to have bags of berries in the freezer to chop into oatmeal or smoothies throughout the year. We ran out of strawberries from last season about a week ago, so it was time to stock up.
  2. Made ice cream. I thought about strawberry shortcake for dessert, but did I mention it was hot today? I didn’t want to turn on the oven, so I thought cold instead. I found some chocolate cake in the freezer and served the still soft ice cream over it.
  3. Made popsicles. As I was hulling the strawberries to freeze, I pulled the ones with mushy spots or the ones my three-year-old picked that were half ripe, half yellow. I put the good bits in a bowl and blended them up with a little limeade. Four popsicles are now solidifying in my freezer.
  4. Froze margarita cubes. I figured this one out last year. Throw your smooshed berries in a blender and pour into ice cube trays. Then use the strawberry ice cubes in margaritas (or toss them in lemonade to make a “fancy” drink for the kids). I used the leftover popsicle mix this year.
  5. Baked a pie. I know. I said I didn’t want to turn on the oven. Even at 10, when a coolish breeze was occasionally slipping into the kitchen, I didn’t want to turn it on, but my husband’s a pie guy with a birthday coming up. I went with the classic strawberry rhubarb (recipe below).
  6. Ate them. Sometimes I get so busy doing things with the stuff I pick, I forget to just savor it. The kids grabbed them off the counter for a snack as they ran through the kitchen. I kept tasting as I was cutting them, and I put a scant quart aside for breakfast.

What are you doing with strawberries this year?

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
2 1/2 cups sliced rhubarb
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Tbsp. water
handful of cornflakes
pie crust (top and bottom for a 9-inch pan)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Put the bottom crust in a 9-inch pan. Crush the cornflakes and sprinkle over the crust.
  3. Combine the strawberries and rhubarb in a medium bowl.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, egg, and water together. Pour over the strawberry-rhubarb mix and stir to combine.
  5. Pour the filling into the crust in the pie pan.
  6. Cover with the top crust, crimp the edges, and cut a few slits in the crust.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for about 40 minutes more. The crust should start turning golden and the filling should bubble lightly.