Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Strawberries. Lots of strawberries.

I've always wanted to go strawberry picking... for as long as I can remember.
For some reason, I've never had the chance to do so....
... until Saturday, when I dragged Thomas on an hour and a half drive out of Dallas, because I found this awesome farm online that lets you pick your own strawberries.
[Apparently I suck at looking for things online, because today Thomas found a strawberry picking farm that is a mere 15 minutes away from us. Ah well.]

Anyhoo... when we finally got there, it was lots of fun.
We picked lots of strawberries. 17 pounds of strawberries, to be exact.

When we got them home... we had some washing to do, one box at a time.

Drying them on paper towels on the kitchen counter...

... and in the living room.

The is what our fridge looked like after Operation Strawberry. And that's not all of them. More are in the freezer.

I set the slightly mushier ones aside to make strawberry pies, which are super easy to make.
I bought some frozen pie crusts, and baked them empty. Using about a quart of strawberries per pie, I fit as many as I could into each pie crust, and mashed up the remaining strawberries.
[And when I say "I", I really mean "we" because Thomas did a lot of the work too, since I came down with a lovely little cold on Saturday night.]

I mixed the mashed strawberries with about one and a third cups of light agave nectar and heated it on the stove until it began to boil.
I mixed one and a half cups of water with 6 tablespoons of cornstarch separately, and added it slowly to the strawberry mixture after reducing the heat. Once the cornstarch and water mixture was added, I stirred it until it thickened.

And finally, I poured the mixture over the strawberries in the pie crusts.

They take several hours to set in the fridge, but Thomas and I were a little impatient and tried to eat a slice after two hours or so... it was still quite runny... but delicious. We let it set for a few more hours, and since then, we've almost demolished a whole pie between us. With fresh whipped cream, of course, because you can't eat strawberries without whipped cream.

I froze a lot of the strawberries, so I'll have plenty to make smoothies with/bake with/make jam with in the future.
And we've been munching on some that I left in the fridge.
The frozen ones have actually been great for me to eat... the coldness feels wonderful on my raging sore throat. Stupid cold.

So if you're ever in need of strawberries, you know where to come. And if you want to try the strawberry pies, you'd better get here quickly. They're disappearing fast.

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