It’s June! Strawberry lovers rejoice! This is the time of year when it is permissible to eat strawberries for three meals a day (PLUS snacks…AND drinks…). Go ahead and enjoy. There is no shame in it. Have you heard of ‘Eating the Seasons’? That’s the whole premise of the idea: Eating WHAT is available locally, WHEN it’s available. There are a number of great reasons for doing so – not the least of which is flavour, since it goes hand in hand with freshness.
You can’t get much fresher than strawberries picked within 24 hours of your purchase from the Farmers’ Market, or directly from the farm stand. Oh wait…actually you can! Strawberries are one of the most common foods that the public is invited to pick for themselves. Appropriately known as Pick-Your-Own (PYO), it’s the very best way to get outside and get in touch (literally) with where food comes from. Careful though, PYO strawberry season is an easy one to miss, since the best picking usually only lasts 4-5 weeks. Also, it comes along at a fairly busy time of year for most…the end of June to early July. It’s worth carving out the time though. A visit to a PYO Berry Patch is a great family outing for all generations. The best way to find the nearest patch (for all types of berries) is to visit www.ontarioberries.com and click on “Find a farm”.
Did you know…
- Strawberries are cultivated in every U.S. State and Canadian province
- The strawberry plant has seeds on the outside skin rather than having an outer skin around the seed, as most berries do. They do not however, normally reproduce by seeds. When the fruit is developing, the plant sends out slender growths called runners. These look like strings. They grow on the ground and send out roots in the soil. The roots produce new plants which grow and bear fruit.
- Strawberries contain only 50 calories per cup, 3g of fibre, and provide over 100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. (Information from Berry Growers of Ontario)
A favourite treat from the kitchen at Miller’s Bay Farm is ‘Fresh Strawberry Pie’. (See recipe on this page). It’s a favourite of those who eat it because it tastes so great – cool and fresh on a hot early-summer day! It’s a favourite of those who prepare it because it’s just so easy – only one pie crust (go with store-bought for a super-simple solution); no cooking of pie-filling; just assemble, chill and enjoy.
The only problem is that this pie is best eaten while fresh so you won’t want to try keeping it for long. Then again…maybe THAT’s not really a ‘problem’ at all!
From the Kitchen at Miller’s Bay Farm…
Fresh Strawberry Pie
You Will Need…
1 pastry shell (9″0), baked
6 cups fresh strawberries, divided
1/2 cuo white sugar
1/2 cup water
2 Tbs. cornstarch
2 Tbs. cold water
Whipped topping for garnish
What to Do…
Mash 1 cup of the strawberries. Set aside for use in the glaze.
Arrange the remaining strawberries in baked, cooled pastry shell.
In a sauce pan, combine the sugar and water (1/2 cup portion).
Cook and stir until sugar dissolves.
Add mashed strawberries and bring to a boil.
Combine cornstarch and cold water until smooth.
Gradually stir into strawberry mixture and return to boiling.
Cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until thickened.
Cool for 15 – 20 minutes., stirring occasionally. Spoon over berries in pastry.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Garnish with whipped topping just before serving.