berries for supper

Strawberries were bonkers this year. We harvested so many that they could probably be counted in bushels, I kid you not (and then my parents off-loaded a few bowls of berries from their patch, too). I’ve spent hours at the kitchen sink, topping and slicing berries until my fingers shriveled. A couple different times, guests showed up on a berry day and we put them all to work — which made my job infinitely easier (and makes me think I should always have company over on berry days).

Now I have over fifty quarts of sliced, sugared berries in the freezer, plus another ten or so quarts of frozen whole berries for smoothies and several batches of jam. In fact, we have so many berries in the freezer that we plugged in our smallest little freezer and then filled it to the brim. In other words, we have an entire freezer dedicated to strawberries, o the wealth!

And that’s not counting all the berries we ate fresh, in strawberry cream pies, strawberry rhubarb pies, fruit smoothies, berries on ice cream, berries on granola, strawberry shortcake.

I made a double batch of the shortcake for our supper on Memorial Day when my husband’s sister’s family came for the night. Along with the enormous bowl of berries (that they all helped to top and slice, of course), there was whipped cream. I had some of shortcake with whipped cream, but then I tried some with milk, which I actually preferred. With milk, the cake and berries felt more substantial, more slurpily delicious.

I made another shortcake a few nights ago. We devoured it, again — there’s something deliciously quaint and wholesome about an entire dinner consisting of berries, cake, and milk — and it got me wondering: why do I ever bother with biscuit shortcake? A sheetcake is so much easier than individually dolloped biscuits, and the leftovers hold up better, too.

Now, off to the kitchen where a big bowl of — you guessed it! — strawberries is waiting to be turned into something or other.

This same time, years previous: the quotidian (6.4.18), a better grilled cheese sandwich, on pins and needles, the quotidian (6.3.13), the best chocolate ice cream ever.


  • Janelle Myers-Benner

    What is your secret? We definitely need some tips as we are struggling to get strawberries up and running. We may have gotten 2 quarts total off our patch this year all season. I think the chipmunks may have gotten about that many as well. None for the freezer this year… ENJOY the bounty!!

  • Melodie

    Some of the local farms having strawberries to pick went bust this year: essentially no crop worth commercial picking and closed early. So I guess your farmette proves that crop failture was not valley-wide. I know you have a huge patch. Way to go and you're making me jealous but that's ok. My very little patch produced enough to keep us 2 happy through the winter and a few to eat.

    • Jennifer Jo

      And to think that my husband wanted to till up much of the patch and start over! (The year before, the chickens had decimated the strawberry plants before the season had even started, so the patch looked spotty.)

  • viviane

    I would make strawberry sorbet (or sherbet ?) : for 500 g strawberries, 100 g sugar and the juice of half a lemon, puree and put in an ice cream machine for 45 min. (pardon my English, I'm French). Mmmmmmm…

  • Unknown

    We bother with biscuit shortcake because it is empirically better. More crispy edges, of course.

    I'm curious: Why do you sugar the sliced frozen berries?

    • Unknown

      Sorry, forgot to identify myself: Kris. But why not sweeten upon thawing according to how you want to use them? For example, when I use frozen strawberries with banana or blueberries in a smoothie, they don't need as much added sweetener as when I use them alone.

    • Jennifer Jo

      I knew it was you (wink)!

      We don't usually use the sliced, sugared berries for smoothies — we use them for on top of waffles or in fruit salad or with pudding, etc. The berries that I freeze whole (on a tray and then, when frozen, transferred to a bag) are UNsugared, and those are the ones (strawberry ice cubes, basically) we pop into smoothies.

  • Steve

    Did you dry any of them? Strawberry fruit leather would be a tastey treat! 🙂 Only problem is, it would probably get gobbled up in less time than it takes to dry… ;(

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