February 26, 2015 (Thursday)
We’re so excited – it’s strawberry time! Living in Central Florida means fresh strawberries straight from the field. This is something we look forward to every year! Did you know that Plant City, Florida is the Winter Strawberry Capital of the World? Plant City produces more than three-quarters of the country’s midwinter strawberries and is home to the annual Florida Strawberry Festival. Students throughout the area will be getting a day off from school to attend this fun festival dedicated to that luscious strawberry.
With the Strawberry Festival starting today, I’d thought it would be the perfect time to think about all of those wonderful treats we’ll be preparing in the very near future. While the markets are flooded with strawberries right now and road side stands have the best berries you’ll ever see, it will still be a few weeks before the fields are opened for you-pick.
Every year we head out (usually multiple times) to gather in the wonderful bounty of the season. We hit the fields and pick box after box of strawberries. Armed with an abundance of these luscious berries, we head home and begin the process of creating wonderful memories for the year. We freeze bunches of whole berries to use for smoothies, Strawberry Daiquiries for Kids and other treats throughout the year. We also make strawberry and triple berry jams as well as fruit leathers, muffins, dried strawberries, strawberry shortcake, strawberry ice cream and just about anything else we can dream up that puts these beautiful strawberries to good use.
This year we’re going to make more jam than we did last year because we ran out a long time ago. We were so sad when we opened our last jar. Our plan is to make enough to last us the entire year! We’re also going to freeze more strawberries because we now have a freezer set aside to handle our beautiful haul. I can’t wait! Keep an eye out for a wave of delicious strawberry inspired recipes to be posted over the next several weeks.
In the meantime, as we anticipate the wonderful treats we have waiting for us, we’re heading out to the Florida Strawberry Festival for a delicious adventure! Yum.