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All Things Michigan

Michigan travels, events, photos, and more

Filtering by Tag: michigan-strawberries

Well, they didn't last long

Andrew Norton

The strawberries, that is. At least here in southwest Michigan. All the local patches (including my strawberry patch that meanders around some of our raised beds) wrapped up the strawberry season over the weekend. The strawberries started early and left just as quickly as they arrived. We made the most of them and enjoyed fresh strawberries on cereal, pancakes, waffles and ice cream. I ate countless bowls of strawberry shortcake as well. In fact, with that in mind it is probably just as well that the season is over - at least as far as my waistline is concerned.

Here is what our local orchard, Corey Lake Orchards, had to say about the season -

Due to the early spring heat, everything is running about 10 days to 2 weeks early this year. It’s almost unheard of for strawberries to be over and to be in the middle of cherry season during the middle of June!

Sounds like we had better get our fill of cherries as quickly as possible - they might go just as fast as the strawberries.

Another great local market for asparagus, strawberries, and blueberries is Riverland Farm Market. They are supposed to have Michigan blueberries in starting this Friday, June 25th.

Audio Slideshow of Workers Picking Strawberries

Andrew Norton

The Lansing State Journal has an audio slideshow of workers picking strawberries at Felzke's Strawberry Farm. You can watch the slideshow here. If you want to know how your strawberries get from the field to your local produce stand or farmers' market you should check this out. It is just under a minute long and does not take long for the page to load. I found it interesting to learn that the workers get paid $2.75 for every eight-quart flat of strawberries they pick. Once the berries are cleaned and sorted they are then sold at the strawberry farm and area farmers' markets for $2.75 per quart.

I have picked strawberries and it is an excellent recipe for aching knees and a sore back. I don't remember how long it took my wife and I to pick eight quarts, but I am sure it was at least half an hour. At that pace (with both of us picking) we would have each earned $2.75 an hour. Obviously these workers work much faster than we did because they have to in order to make a living.

All-in-all, it is a very nice tribute to the hard work that brings Michigan produce to our tables. It reminds me of the saying that goes something like this, "you can't talk bad about a farmer with a mouth full of food."

Roasted Strawberry Shortcakes

Andrew Norton

This is it. The pinnacle of all the delicious treats that you can make with fresh Michigan strawberries. Strawberry Shortcake. Just thinking about it makes me hungry for dozens of fresh berries poured over a hot piece of shortcake and topped with whipped cream (homemade if possible). Oh, yes. This is one of the finest treats of summer. The recipe below was found at the Detroit Free Press website. It looks delicious. Oh man, lets go get some fresh strawberries and cook this up! :)

Serves: 6 / Preparation time: 15 minutes / Total time: 45 minutes The biscuits in this recipe are made with whipped cream and have a delicate texture that pairs well with the warm berries.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, plus additional for sprinkling

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided, plus additional milk or cream for brushing

2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or pure vanilla paste

2 pints small ripe strawberries, cleaned and hulled

1/2 cup sour cream

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, 3 tablespoons sugar, baking powder and salt.

In a large, deep bowl, beat 1 cup of the cream on medium-high speed just until it holds soft peaks when the beaters are lifted. Beat in the vanilla.

Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add the whipped cream and stir the mixture with a fork just until it begins to form a dough.

On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough several times, just until it is well combined. Pat it out to 1/2-inch thick.

With a 3-inch cutter, crinkle-edged if you have one, cut out 6 rounds; gather the scraps and pat them out again if necessary. Brush the biscuits with the whipping cream and sprinkle them with sugar. Place them on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Let the biscuits cool on the pan on a wire rack.

Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl toss the strawberries with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Transfer them to a sided baking sheet. When the biscuits are out of the oven, roast the strawberries, stirring twice, for about 12 minutes, until they are soft and fragrant.

Just before serving, in a large bowl beat together the remaining 1/2 cup cream, sour cream and confectioners' sugar on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Split each biscuit in half and place the bottom halves on 6 serving plates. Spoon a generous portion of warm berries over each one, add a dollop of cream, add the biscuit tops and drizzle with the juices on the baking sheet. Serve immediately.

From "Luscious Berry Desserts" by Lori Longbotham (Chronicle Books, $12.97 at Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Andrew Norton

My wife makes the best strawberry freezer jam. I hoard it throughout the year and am just now nearing the end of the last container of last year's jam. I love it so much that I wanted to share her awesome recipe with you. When I asked her for the recipe this morning she chuckled. She brought me the package of freezer jam pectin and told me that she just uses the recipe on the back. All this time I thought she was using some old family recipe! ;)

Of course, anyone making freezer jam is most likely using the same or at least a similar recipe. I do think that the quality of the strawberries is the key, though. Everyone might use the same recipe, but you have to use quality berries.

So, without further ado, here is the strawberry freezer jam recipe from the back of the Ball Freezer Jam Pectin package.

  1. Measure 2/3-cup sugar into bowl. Add package Fruit Jell Freezer Jam Pectin; stir until mixed.
  2. Crush strawberries. Combine 1 2/3 cups crushed strawberries with pectin mixture. Stir 3 minutes.
  3. Ladle jam into clean jars (Ball makes great plastic jars with screw-on lids) leaving 1/2-inch headspace; apply lids. Let stand until thickened (about 30 minutes).
  4. Serve, Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or Freeze it for longer storage.

Yields 2-8oz. jars

P.S. If you are at all like me you won't have to worry about storing the jam in your fridge for more than 3 weeks. It just won't last that long :).

Find Fresh Michigan Strawberries at a Farm Near You

Andrew Norton

I performed a quick search at the Michigan Farm Market and U-Pick Directory section of the Michigan Department of Agriculture website for strawberry farms and it turned up 34 results across the state. The search function allows you to refine your search by county, region, city, and even the farm name (if you know it). I narrowed down my search from statewide to our region of southwest Michigan and it turned up 13 results. It did not turn up a few places that I know have u-pick strawberries so apparently the places I was thinking of are not registered to be included in the Michigan U-pick Directory. My suggestion would be to use this as a guide, but if you are traveling I think you are bound to find a roadside stand or u-pick farm that is not included.

The strawberry season in Michigan is short so don't hesitate to stop by your local strawberry farm and grab some sweet Michigan strawberries before it is too late. I think I will be posting a different strawberry-themed recipe each day this week so stay tuned.

Strawberry Cream French Toast

Andrew Norton

This reminds me of the stuffed french toast you can get at IHOP. My wife has made something similar to this and it was waaaay better than anything at IHOP. I'm not just saying that because she reads this blog either. :) Anyway, our strawberry patch is producing berries every day and I think I will be trying this delicious recipe for breakfast tomorrow.

What you need:

  • 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 cup strawberry yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 12 slices white bread
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cream or milk
  • butter for frying
  • 2 cups freshly sliced Michigan strawberries

The night before serving:

Mix cream cheese (warm a little in microwave for easier mixing) with strawberry yogurt and refrigerate overnight. Slice 2 cups fresh strawberries and let sweeten overnight.

To prepare:

Spread half of cream cheese mixture on 6 slices of white bread and top to form a sandwich. Beat eggs, milk, and vanilla. Melt butter on the griddle or skillet. Dip sandwiches in egg mixture and cook until brown. To serve, top each sandwich with the remaining cheese mixture and fresh strawberries.

Courtesy of Hess Manor Bed and Breakfast; Romeo, Michigan, via