Strawberry Fields Forever …. Or At Least For A Couple of Months
by Melinda Long
There’s nothing like biting into a fresh strawberry and feeling the sweet juice burst all over your taste buds. Who among us did not rejoice when Mama served strawberry shortcake, with gobs of whipped cream? Whether you like yours in a pie, a cake, a salad, or straight off the vine, celebrate — strawberry season is here!
According to Theresa Ledford at Beechwood Farms in Travelers Rest, the season started early this year. When asked about damage from the recent hail, Theresa said, “We were very blessed, it missed us. The strawberries are here but aren’t plentiful yet.” Theresa says that they will likely peak the first week of May but will be available through mid-June. Beechwood Farms is family-owned. They begin their season with strawberries but continue to offer fresh-picked veggies and fruits until October.
Beechwood Farms, along with others in the area, like Strawberry Hill in Chesnee, Sandy Flat in Taylors and Callahan Orchard in Belton, offer roadside stands as well as the pick-it-yourself option and even provide field trips for kids. Some farms have their own restaurants and party venues. In addition, don’t forget about the Travelers Rest Farmers Market at Trailblazer Park and the State Farmers Market on Rutherford Road in Greenville.
Theresa gives the following advice:
- When you pick a strawberry, look for bright red berries and pull by the stem, not the soft fruit.
- Don’t wash your berries or cut off the caps until you’re ready to eat them. This will help them to last longer.
- Fresh strawberries can be stored in a cool, dry area for a little while, but if you plan to freeze them, follow Theresa’s suggestion:
- Freeze strawberries on a baking sheet without washing or cutting. When they’re frozen, you can put them into a plastic zipper bag and drop them in the freezer to enjoy later a few at a time.
- Alternatively, if you want to wash and cut them first, then you can freeze your strawberries already sliced.
So, now you have your strawberries, what do you do with them?
The following recipes might help …….
- From Gene Taylor -A fresh twist on Strawberry Short Cake
(For a peanut butter fanatic, this sounds like a winner!)
“Our favorite is simple. Fresh strawberries, angel food strawberry shortcake cups, Cool Whip, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Put the berries in the cake cups, add diced up Reese’s Cups, top with Cool Whip.”
- Steffanie Faulkner submitted this link for an easy and delicious strawberry cake. Makes your mouth happy.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.
Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg, milk, and vanilla.
Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.
Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.
- Linda Sims suggested this recipe for mouthwatering strawberry pie.
1 Cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. strawberry jello
¼ tsp. salt
1 Cup of hot water
1 pt. strawberries, hulled, sliced and washed.
1 pie shell
Bring sugar, cornstarch, jello, salt, and water to a boil; cook 3-5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Bake pie shell according to directions. Allow to cool. Fill pie shell with berries. Put a few whole strawberries on the top. Pour cooked mixture over berries and refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream. Eat and smile!
If you’re craving strawberries but you’re not in the mood to spend time in the kitchen, check out these strawberry treats at your favorite local restaurants.
- Café at Williams Hardware – Yummy Strawberry Cake with cream cheese icing or Strawberry Lemonade Cake. Makes you wish you could take that first bite all over again.
- Whistle Stop – Delicious Strawberry Shaved Ice. Light and perfect for a hot day or mouth-watering Strawberry Cheesecake.
- Sidewall Pizza – Strawberry Salad; spinach with strawberries, red onions, and goat cheese. A sweet and savory treat.
- Farmhouse Tacos – Strawberry Tart; a French tart with strawberries, glaze and candied hazel nuts. Ooh la la!
- Tandem – Strawberry Short Crepe; keylime pie custard with strawberry graham and whipped crème for when you want the best of both worlds.
However you decide to celebrate the season, may your strawberries be sweeter than ever!