It’s that time of year again…spring! The weather is finally warming up and things are starting to grow, which means it’s time to head out east and pick your own crops. What is growing this time of year you ask? Strawberries…and lots of them! From picking them to cooking with them, and even “celebrating” them, we’re happy to offer you our guide on how to enjoy Long Island’s fresh strawberry crop.
Patty’s Berries & Bunches and Hanks offer visitors to pick their own strawberries starting in June. All of the locations ask that you call before you head out to check availability and to find out what days the fields are open. Some locations only accept cash at their pick your own locations, so make sure you are prepared.
For more locations, check out www.pickyourown.org
Strawberry Festival The strawberry crops on Long Island are at their peak by June, which is when the town of Mattituck hosts their annual Strawberry Festival.
If you’re going to be out for the day picking your own strawberries, you can also head over to the festival and make it a very berry day!
Very Berry Recipes Whether it’s with the fresh berries your family picked or some fresh berries from the store, here are some strawberry recipes to try:
Spinach Strawberry Salad (Recipe and picture from Sweet Little Bluebird)
5-6 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups strawberries, cut to bite size
5 oz. gorgonzola cheese
8 strips cooked bacon, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup pecans, bite size, toasted
Directions: Clean the spinach and place in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients on top. Add desired amount of dressing, toss and enjoy.
Strawberry Cobbler (Recipe and picture from Everyday Mom’s Meals)
1 cup each of flour & sugar
½ tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten
4 TBS butter, diced
4 cups sliced strawberries
Directions: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray an 8×8 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread berries evenly on bottom of pan. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Mix well. Add egg, and with fork mix until crumbly. Pour on berries and spread into even layer. Dot with diced butter. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden on top and berries are bubbling. Cool slightly before serving. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
By: Janet Brandsema
Photo Credit: Janet Brandsema, Hamptons.com, Sweet Little Bluebird, & Everyday Mom’s Meals.