Strawberries are a summer-time tradition
A lot of our traditional summer activities we look forward to every summer are food related. Strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches are all an integral part of our summer: finding roadside stands, loading up boxes and finding a u-pick orchard, or — best yet — wandering out to the backyard for yet another bowl of strawberries.
Strawberries have been my favorite berry ever since I was a child in my grandparents’ garden. When a visit was planned, they wouldn’t pick for several days and the first thing I would do after greetings were exchanged was get my little Tupperware and run to see how many strawberries I could find in their large garden. “You know why my strawberries are so big?” my grandpa would say almost every time, “It’s because I use Miracle Grow.”
My grandma always had a can with both ends off that I would use to mash my strawberries and a spoonful of sugar, then I’d eat them up with a spoon — the best food in the world, I was sure.
Now I have a garden patch of my own, and strawberries were one of the first things to go in. Now my own children watch and wait for the first signs of red and go out with little Tupperware dishes. I was a little overzealous in my planting and last year — our first harvest at our current house — we picked over 30 pounds of strawberries last June.
What we don’t eat fresh, we wash, hull, and flash freeze to use the rest of the year. But the best way to take advantage of the full flavor of fresh, just-picked strawberries is homemade strawberry sorbet.
Homemade Strawberry Sorbet
- 1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered
- 1/2-3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
Sprinkle the sugar over the berries, stir until sugar is dissolved, and let sit for an hour or so, stirring occasionally. This is called “macerating” the berries; it softens the fruit and draws out the flavor.
Stir in lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Blend the mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Add the blended mixture to your ice cream maker and freeze according to the machine’s instructions.
Alternatively, you can follow these directions for making sorbet without an ice cream maker.
Freeze for an hour or two to allow it to set and ripen.
Homemade strawberry sorbet imparts pure, cold strawberry essence, and it’s an essential part of welcoming summer in our house.
Mystie Winckler is a wife of one, mother of four with another on the way, homemaker, and home-educator. She blogs about simple cooking and menu planning at Simple Pantry Cooking and about creating and maintaining a cheerful home at Simply Convivial.
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