We took the kids to Linvilla Farm to pick strawberries this weekend. They weren't organic, but they assured us that they hadn't been sprayed for three months (since the berries were on the plants). I'm not sure if we should have, but we decided to believe them. So we picked about 15 pound of strawberries (not counting the pound or two that Jesse and Micah ate). "Can I eat this one, Mommy? I eat this one, Daddy?" I called both of our moms and looked online, and this is what I did to freeze them. I washed them and then lay them on towels to dry on the counter with the overhead fan on. After a few hours, I put them on cookie sheets in the freezer. Once they were frozen, I transferred them to bags. Easy, schmeasy. Now they're all set for strawberry milkshakes, additions to oatmeal and pancakes, and baking in the winter. I promised myself I would freeze more than just peaches this year. I got a little peached out this winter. :) We saved a bowl of strawberries for the rhubarb sauce that's on the stove as I type. Our strawberry plants are producing about a quart a week, so we're enjoying the trickle of fresh berries, too, on cereal or pancakes, etc.
I read in Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle how we are out of touch with the seasons because we just ship in whatever fruit and vegetables we want all year long. And I must say, we have been making more of an effort to eat truly local produce as much as possible (as much as I felt up to pregnant and nauseated during the winter, and as much as I am up to now with having inadequately prepared last summer). And that meant eating apples almost every day for the fall and winter and into the spring. (We did eat some oranges--I tried to buy from Florida, since that's closer, California grapes, and bananas--not from the U.S., of course.) Her point is that we truly appreciate strawberries, for example, when we only eat the local ones in season. She also points out that if you really go gung ho on asparagus and strawberries and rhubarb in the spring, you won't need it the rest of the year. I'm really finding that to be true. We're fully entering into the produce (fruit especially) of each season and then we're ready for a break and to get excited about the next crop coming. It's pretty fun!
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life (P.S.)