This summer I had the great privilege to go and pick fresh strawberries off the vine which is one of my favorite things to do and pick during the summer! 

I decided to keep count of all the different ways we were able to use them. 
We bought about a large cardboard box full which ended up being about $20. 

You tend to have to work pretty quickly when you have strawberries off the vine. They are generally very ripe and ready to be eaten. 
So, day of you have to split them up and know how you want to use them. 
I sorted quickly through the box and separated the ones the were a little too soft for plain eating and the ones that were still okay after our long car ride. 
The soft ones we made jam with! 
We make refrigerator jam at my house. It's quickest and stores great in the freezer. You can buy these style of plastic jars at any grocery store and the refrigerator pectin and right next to them. Just go ahead and follow the stirring directions and amounts on the back of the bottle. We usually keep one jar of jam in our fridge for eating and the rest in the freezer. 

Now I had to decide what to do with all the strawberries that were good for eating. 
We left just a few to snack on plain for a day or two in the fridge. 
The paper towel keeps them from getting to juicy and the open air keeps them a bit longer as well. I wouldn't recommend slicing and washing and all that if you just plan on eating them over a couple days. 

I separated the rest into different size freezer bags ready to go for different applications. 
I had two bags that were larger like the one on the left and a few that were much smaller only contained about a cup of strawberries each. The berries had been sliced up and the stems taken off as well. 

With these bags I made a few different things. 
First was strawberry shortcake. 
This is one of the easiest desserts in the world. We buy a sour cream angel food cake and I usually whip my own cream but you can certainly use a can. The berries were sliced and marinated for just half an hour in a T. of lemon juice and a couple t. of white sugar. 
This is the delicious creation you get. Always a hit. 

The next thing we made was a strawberry crisp. This was so delicious I forgot to grab a picture. 
I usually make this the night before and bake it the next day. If you do it all in one day make sure the berries are de-thawed.
You mix together the frozen berries, flour, sugar, lemon juice until combined and pour it into a baking dish and the topping is oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and butter. You sprinkle it on top and bake it off for 35 minutes. 

The smaller bags are what I have left now. I decided these would make great strawberry smoothies. 
As you can see I used mostly strawberries and fruit juice. I love the natural flavor of the berries but this would be great with yogurt or soy milk as well. 

It's amazing what $20 of fresh strawberries could do. 
Get creative and have fun! 

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