As the strawberries continue to pour in, despite the efforts of a raccoon(s) or possum(s) at night, I am trying to put some aside for the winter. (Note to self — get electric fence up on deer fence to deter climbing animals).
Freezing strawberries is easy — wash, de-stem, let dry and put on a cookie sheet. Once frozen put into a freezer bag and mark the date.
I have also made a rhubarb and strawberry dish that I froze and then thawed to see if it would be okay. Some things don’t freeze well. This was fine and I am already pre-enjoying for next winter in anticipation.
I am not a cook and following recipes is out of my league so I just do things with the principle of if you put good things together good things result. I like rhubarb and strawberries and I remember back in the day when Satsvarupa Swami used to visit New Vrindaban he used to like the chutney they made from rhubarb and strawberries.
I don’t know what strictly makes something a chutney, though I think it needs cayenne added to be called so. I didn’t add any to this but you could and it would probably still be good or maybe even better.
I take 12 stalks of rhubarb and cut into small pieces, like inch or half inch (1.2 to 2.5 cm). Add about a quart (liter) of strawberries de-stemmed and cut into smaller pieces. No need to let them dry as some extra water has to be added.
Not much, as rhubarb is mostly water so it just needs enough to barely cover the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t stick and burn during the first couple of minutes. Once the rhubarb starts to “melt” there is plenty of liquid. I cook until the rhubarb breaks down so it is no longer recognizable as pieces by which time the strawberries are soft.
I add finely shredded fresh ginger to taste, maybe about what would fit in the hollow of my cupped hand, maybe more. It is possible to overpower things with ginger but I like it and it is good for my joint flexibility and blood pressure I so I push that limit.
I stir in about a quarter by volume of the cooked result of sugar more or less, maybe less. That I add while it is still cooking and can dissolve well.
I have also used honey but that I add after it is off the fire as honey isn’t supposed to be cooked some say. Honey is sweeter so less is used.
Sugar stiffens it up more than honey as honey adds water and sugar absorbs it so sugar works better if you are going to serve it on a plate.
Breakfast this morning was fresh raw strawberries, organic yogurt, freshly ground flax seeds and covered with the strawberry rhubarb concoction. The mix of cooked and raw strawberries with the rhubarb and ginger with the fat feel of the 40% of flax seed that is oil really made for some good eating.