My strawberry patch at Dowling Community Garden in Minneapolis has been under construction for years. Wrong location, wrong variety, wrong soil, not enough water, it was soooo frustrating! This year all that hard work finally paid off. Loads of compost and manure combined with heavy spring rains made my strawberry patch go BOOM. I had strawberries coming out of our ears!
I’m not a big jam person, but I dearly love pies, ice cream and fruit for breakfast. We needed to freeze these berries, stat! Because the strawberries came from my garden, they had their fair share of dirt on them, which meant that they needed to be hulled and washed before freezing. But when you wash and then freeze berries you frequently end up with block-o-berries, a giant frozen popsicle of fruit in the form of your freezer container.
The solution is to spread the berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and set them in the freezer until rock solid. Then, with a thin spatula, gently prize the frozen berries from the pan and store them in a plastic zip bag or other freezer container. This keeps the strawberries loose and easy to remove as you need them. Mark your container with the contents and date. Berries will last at least a year. Our favorite mid-winter snack is a bowl of frozen strawberries with a little sugar and milk, sorta like a quick ice milk semi-freddo.