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Red, delicious and so many ways to enjoy

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By Deanna Godman

Strawberry season is in full swing, and local strawberries are still available at the farmers market. The best way to prepare and serve strawberries is open for discussion. Local cooks are willing to share some of their favorite ways to serve strawberries.

Debbie Hambrick didn’t know about the Taylorsville Farmers Market until a few weeks ago, but now she sells her strawberries there. She raises strawberries both for her family and to sell. Hambrick also grows other berries, fruits and vegetables which she expects to bring to market as the season continues.

She started with about 250 strawberry plants and now has over a thousand. She even has strawberries in her landscaping in her front yard. In the fall, she covers her plants with straw to keep them from freezing.

“It also seems to keep the weeds out,” she said.

Hambrick makes sure to freeze a lot of the strawberries for her family to enjoy until the next strawberry harvest. She also serves them through the summer in strawberry pies or with dip.

Her recipe for fruit dip, which she got from someone she met at Country Mart, is simple: start with one jar of marshmallow cream and one box of cheesecake mix. Heat up marshmallow cream in the microwave. Stir in cheesecake mix. Let the dip chill in the refrigerator and then serve.

Patty Davis enjoys making strawberry jam to preserve strawberries for the year. “What I have always done is follow the recipe on the box of sure-jell,” she said. She has been using this recipe for strawberry jam for over forty years, and recently put up four and a half pints. Davis recommends making sure you have everything assembled before starting the process. Recipes for freezer jam and cooked jam can also be found on the box.

Davis says that when crushing the strawberries for jam, you need to go by your own preferences. Her family likes the jam to be more uniform in texture, so she uses the blender to chop the strawberries. If you like the strawberries to keep their shape more, then don’t crush them as much.

Ruth Stamper of Elk Creek used to serve strawberry shortcake to her family, but she didn’t care for the sponge cakes wrapped in cellophane at the grocery store. Instead, she made a biscuit dough and added sugar and “a tiny dab of nutmeg to give it a hint of flavor.”

Wendy Baldwin, a Spencer County librarian, shared her recipe for stuffed strawberries. She adapted this recipe from one she found on Paula Deen’s website.

Strawberries, whole and washed (as many as you would like to serve)

8 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract

crushed pecans

Cut the caps off so the strawberries sit flat.

Split the strawberry’s tip.

Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and almond or vanilla extract and blend well.

Put the filling in a piping bag and pipe into the split end of the strawberries.

Sprinkle the tops with crushed pecans.

Elma Schiller of Elk Creek prefers her strawberries simply cut up and served with whipped cream. “They’re perfect the way they are. There’s no need to put them in anything.”

Visit Deanna’s blog at http://blog.funmama.net for more resources on preserving and preparing strawberries. If you have recipes or thoughts you’d like to share on homemaking, please contact Deanna at ideas@funmama.net.