There are a few weeks in summer when local, freshly picked and RIPE strawberries are available. At farmstands and sometimes at Whole Foods, you can find these in quart boxes for about $6.99 each. That’s pricier than the big ones from California that have white centers when you cut into them. These are smaller, fragile, juicy and fragrant – and well worth the cost!
We are enjoying our second box of these this summer. G. takes a few to his 99-year old mother in the nursing home and she relishes them! It is important, I have found, to keep them out of the fridge and on the kitchen counter where we can sample a berry at will. I keep them in the morning sun where they ripen further.
For dessert, I hull the tops and cut them into pieces (do not rinse in water!) In a bowl, I squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on them (about half of a small lemon) and sprinkle a small spoonful of turbinado sugar. Mixed gently, these berries macerate in the fridge until dessert time
G. likes to eat his straight-up and I like to pour a little sweet cream into the berries. It thickens with the lemon juice and is a fresh fruit treat made in heaven! Well, almost!
Footnote: I’ve used the fresh lemon/sugar process with sliced fresh white peaches or nectarines too. Delicious with cream or without!