18th Harvest Week <> Sept. 6 - 12, 1999

Strawberry Tips and Ideas

Hi everyone. Buried in strawberries? Or are they going bad on you before you can use them up? Here are some tips and ideas. Storage-rule-number-one: don't wash them before storing! Wash them only when you go to use them. To store, gently cover each basket of berries with a piece of waxed paper big enough so that it covers the sides of the basket, then secure with a rubber band. Set these covered baskets on top of a folded paper towel in the refrigerator. This greatly helps the berries hold their moisture so they don't get that dry, rubbery limpness they'd otherwise get if stored uncovered in a typical frost-free refrigerator. If you have time, it is best to check the berries over before covering. Ideally, dump them out onto paper towels and then carefully refill the baskets, checking for any overripe or blemished berries that might otherwise taint the rest in storage (I always do this and my berries last all week no problem). This technique also allows for eating the ripest berries first! When reloading the baskets, I put the least ripe-looking ones on the bottom, and sometimes I put the bottom layer of berries in upside down so their delicate flesh is not pressed against the basket.

Now for a quick and tasty strawberry breakfast treat: instead of the usual toast and jam, spread toast with butter and honey then top w/sliced strawberries. Cream cheese optional!

Cold Beet Rosemary Orange Soup
I made this one up because I was trying to come up with more/different things to do with beets. Turned out to be really easy to make, plus it is a real looker! - debbie

makes 2 large or 4 modest servings

1 1/2 C peeled, diced beets (roughly 3 to 4 medium or 6 small beets)
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 1/2 C water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 C orange juice
1 C buttermilk

Put beets, rosemary, water & salt in a saucepan. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to low & simmer 20 min. until beets are tender (the smaller the dice, the quicker they cook). Discard rosemary & chill beets & their water. Once cold, combine w/remaining ingredients in a blender and puree. Not only does it taste great, the color is spectacular!

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