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|Berries are back! With highly active pollinators (and other insects, for better or worse) we can expect quite the bounty this summer. Picked at their prime, these'll need to be used quite quickly, however.||
Local berries should, if snacked on as-is, be eaten within a few days upon their arrival at your door. If you're looking to keep them for a longer time, here're a few tips for preparing, preserving and packing these precious morsels.
If you're freezing your berries--great for use in baking and cooking--spread them out on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper, taking care to keep them as dry as you can before putting them in the freezer. That'll stop them from sticking to each other and help them keep their shape. Can them in a water bath with simple syrup for a root-cellar classic; cook them into jams or confitures for all-year usage; or use a simple quick-pickle brine with herbs on them--great for salads and meats. If you're daring, you can pack berries into a blend of sugar-and-salt in the style of Moroccan lemons or umeboshi; this works best with strawberries, and can be used after a month!