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June 2001 Issue
Making the Most of the Strawberry Harvest
by Ronda L. Halpin
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When I think of June, I think of the strawberry harvest in Wisconsin. Now, I know that when most people think of strawberries, they envision the giants that are produced in states like California. While those beauties are a joy when local berries aren't available, there's just nothing quite like the bliss that follows popping a fresh, ripe berry into your mouth just after picking it. If you're lucky, it's a warm, sunny day and the berry is just the right temperature -- a slightly warmed side that's been facing the sun and a cooler side that's been shaded by its mother plant. Yup, that's what I look forward to in June.

However, given the large number of berries I've been known to harvest in a season, I'd better be able to do more with them than pop in my mouth one after another. Otherwise, I'd find myself in a strawberry field for most of the month -- unable to move because I've literally filled myself to the brim with strawberries!

So, since I've got strawberries on the brain anyway, I thought it might be fun to share a nice assortment of recipes featuring them. While there are tried and true favorites like pie and muffins, there are also a few surprises like Strawberry-Baked Ham and Strawberry Melon Soup. When it comes down to it, strawberries can find their way into so many types of recipes that you could have them present in every meal!

Here's my special collection of fresh strawberry recipes:

  • Iced Strawberry Tea
  • Strawberry Melon Soup
  • Strawberry Romaine Salad
  • Strawberry-Baked Ham
  • Strawberry Sauce
  • Strawberry Salsa
  • Strawberry Muffins
  • Sky-High Strawberry Pie
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Cake
  • Chocolate-Covered Strawberries
Since I'm always looking for great ways to incorporate my favorite fruit into everything from sweets to the main course of a meal, I'd love it if you'd share your favorite strawberry recipes with me. Either post them to our discussion board using the form below or send me them via . Thanks in advance and enjoy the recipes!

 

Iced Strawberry Tea

This refreshing tea is a special treat on a hot summer day. Because you puree most of the strawberries, it's a great way to use small or slightly bruised fruit.
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • 4 cups chilled tea
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Set five whole strawberries aside. Puree the remaining strawberries in a blender and strain the puree into a pitcher. Stir in the tea, sugar and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves. Chill for at least an hour. Serve in tall glasses over ice and garnish with the whole berries.
  • Yields: about 5 cups
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus chilling time
 

 

Strawberry Melon Soup

This delightful soup is an unusual way to begin an elegant picnic or end a simple dinner. Make sure you use very ripe melon and berries.
  • 1/2 ripe honeydew melon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 7 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries
  • Cranberry juice or water Halve, seed, peel and cut the melon into chunks. Puree the melon with the lime juice and 1 teaspoon of sugar in a blender or food processor. Refrigerate the puree in a 2-cup measuring cup. Process the rinsed, stemmed strawberries and 2 tablespoons of sugar in the blender or food processor until smooth. Place the mixture into another 2-cup measuring cup and, if needed, stir in additional cranberry juice or water to make an equal amount of liquid as the melon puree. Chill for 2 hours.

    Serve by carefully pouring from each measuring cup at the same time into opposite sides of the same serving bowl. Swirl the mixture with a knife to make patterns. Repeat this process with the other bowls.

    • Yields: 4 servings
    • Preparation Time: 15 minutes, plus chilling time
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