Zina's Produce

  (Williamsburg, Virginia)
A Country Affair Farm
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More great strawberry recipes!!

Strawberries go out as quick as they come in. So take advantage of these babies while they are here! We love to eat them right out of the patch; they are so fresh and fragrant. "Putting them up" is also a great way to stretch the season. I like to freeze in freezer bags the exact amount for my jam recipe, or even for a pie. Then there is no guessing how many bags to thaw. There are other ways to put up berries. Drying berries is great fun, and then add them to yogurt, cereal, granola, cakes, salads, muffins, pancake batter...all year long! I say this is great fun, because the dehydrator does most of the work! Any way you slice it, we love strawberries!

Swedish Creme
1 pint heavy heavy whipping cream
1 TBSP Knox gelatin
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
Combine whipping cream, gelatin & sugar in top of a double boiler(fancy way to say-a bowl on the top of a pot of boiling water). Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until all is dissolved. Remove from heat & let cool. Add sour cream & pour into buttered molds. Chill in refrigerator until firm. I collect old tin molds, a Pyrex custard dish will work as good as any .Great for individual servings.

Berry Sauce (any berry in season; raspberries, strawberries, blackberries are our fav.)
 1 1/2 cups fresh  berries                                                                                                                                         

 1 TBSP corn-starch
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar( more if needed for )
Add sugar to berries giving them time to juice up. Separate the berries from the juice. Put juice,cornstarch and lemon juice in a sauce pan :heat until thickened, if any additional sugar is needed add now (some berries are quite tart) .Add berries to sauce; cool.Unmold Creams and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!
MaKes  10 :1/4 cup molds or 5 my size!

Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This is really not a salad at all! It’s a yummy, salty, creamy, sweet dessert! A classic ,you will never grow tired of! It sounds kind of yucky with the pretzels, but that is the best part.This is a layered desert, cut in squares. I haven’t had a complaint yet. Perfect at strawberry pickin time.

 2 c. crushed pretzels

3/4 c. melted butter

2 tbsp. powdered sugar

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese (room temp.)

8 oz. Cool Whip

1 c. powdered sugar

1 lg. box strawberry Jello

2 cups of fresh strawberries

Mix together pretzels, melted butter and the 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar. Then press in 9 x 13 inch pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool. Mix cream cheese, Cool Whip and 1 cup of powdered sugar; pour over pretzel crust.  

Dissolve large package of starwberry Jello in 2 cups boiling water. Add 2 cups of fresh strawberries. Mix well and pour over cream cheese. Chill for a couple hours. 

 
 

Early to Rise" Strawberries and Rhubarb"

Soon strawberries and Rhubarb will be center stage! I can’t wait until I taste the first local strawberry. Failing a backyard bed or pick- your-own farm, try to find local strawberries! In season these babies are best when eaten right out of the patch sweet and still warm from the sun. Strawberry varieties grown for mass production and transportation, fail in comparison to local berries. Make sure when you visit a farm, market or pick your own. To buy berries that are scarlet, shiny, plump and fragrant. Store the berries in the fridge in well ventilated baskets so they can breathe. Wash them just before eating and remove the hull and stems AFTER you wash them. Remember a fresh local berry is worth the wait. Eating and cooking seasonal is close to our hearts here at our farm. My husband and I have always taken our children out strawberry picking. And although we own a produce market, things haven’t changed. We still pick berries together and make jam. Remember the intensity and scent is what makes a fresh berry remain unsurpassed. The aroma of strawberries and spring onions as I make my daily pickup is incredible! It lets me know, Spring has Sprung!

Strawberries are a natural complement to Rhubarb, which come into season at the same time. Coming from stores Rhubarb has been stripped of its leaves, which are toxic, containing oxalic acid. Never eat the leaves! Rhubarb season here in Va. Is April-May. Refrigerate them as soon as possible. To cook cut the stalks across into ½ “ -1 “ pieces. You can stew or bake them with plenty of sugar as they are tart. Hot house varieties are sweeter compared to home grown, so adjust sugar accordingly. Rhubarb cooks quickly, so cook it no longer than necessary. Stringing it is not necessary  but some prefer . It is a natural laxative. Some call a spring tonic. I love strawberry rhubarb pie and jam. Recently I discovered how good a rhubarb sauce goes with pork or lamb. The tartness offsets the meats richness, much like apples and pork. (Yum) And the best part is Rhubarb is a perennial,coming back year after year!

One day while making jam, it just would not jell. So I changed my labels and made Zina’s Strawberry Topper. It is great topped on anything…pancakes, waffles, yogurt, cake… It quickly became one of my better sellers. Then my husband bought me an ice-cream maker! Zina’s topper  became my year round supply of strawberry ice-cream, any time you want it! It has less sugar than strawberry jam (hence the reason it didn’t jell) I use this recipe for all seasonal berries blueberries ,raspberries, blackberries… Here is the recipe for Zina’s Strawberry Topper and ice cream. Enjoy!

Strawberry Ice-cream

This ice cream is delicious adding fresh local strawberries or Zina’s Strawberry Topper: Recipe as follows.

1 ½ pint of Zina’s Strawberry topper

½ cold milk

2 ¾ cup of heavy cream

11/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl combine the milk and sugar, mix with mixer until sugar is dissolved. About two min. Stir in heavy cream, vanilla, and strawberry topper. Pour mixture into the freezer bowl, turn on maker and let it mix for 25 min. If more berries are wanted add during last 5 min. Enjoy!

                                       Zina’s Strawberry Topper

 

Use the best local strawberries you can find. Can be used as a jam, but runnier than your traditional jam. You can substitute any berry in season. 

6 cups of fresh berries 

Juice of 1 lemon 

4 cups of sugar

Combine the berries and lemon in a heavy pot. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until juice runs from berries and they float. Add sugar, stir until dissolved, bring liquids to a boil. Cook until the topping reaches setting point.220 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 15 min. stirring as it boils to avoid scorching. Skim off foam, adding a tsp. of butter will help this, spoon clean ½ pint jars. Hot water bathe for 10 min. Store in cool, dry cupboard.

Makes about 6 half-pint jars 

                                       Rhubarb Coffee Cake

This coffee cake has a nice balance between the sweet of the topping and the tart of the fruit. Great with coffee for a real morning treat!

1 1/4 c. of milk

1 T. vinegar

2 1/4 c flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp.salt

8 T. butter (1 stick at room temp.)

1 1/4 c. brown sugar

1 large egg

2 c. of rhubarb 1/2 " thick

Topping:

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. old fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Bake 350 

Butter and flour 9x13 pan. Tapping out excess flour.Combine the milk and vinegar and let stand until curdles (5 min). Mix the flour baking soda ,salt together. Cream the butter,brown sugar together in med. bowl until fluffy about 3 min. Beat in the egg. Combine flour mixture ,sour milk, and creamed butter and sugar. Do not over mix! Mix just until ingredients are moist. Fold in rhubarb, spread in pan. Mix topping : Brown sugar, oats, and butter. Spread evenly over batter, mash down a bit with the back of a spoon. Bake until a tooth pick comes out clean.35 min. Cool in the pan on a rack.Enjoy! 

 

               Easy Balsamic Strawberry Jam Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups of chopped strawberries  

1 cup of sugar

2 Tbl. of balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Cook strawberries, sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a medium pan on med heat for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. I usually eye-ball the thickness of the sauce to determine when it is done. When the jam mixture has reduced to the consistency of thick honey or 220 degrees F. remove from heat and allow to cool. Enjoy!

 
 
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