When it was clear that we weren't going to eat them all plain, I got to brainstorming on how to use them all and waste none. First I tossed a batch of jam in my breadmaker (when I first saw that it had a jam function, I laughed, but as it turns out, it is awesome). Here is the best picture I could get of the jam being made with no work on my part:
I love that it has only four ingredients: crushed strawberries, lemon juice, a small amount of sugar, and pectin. It is heavenly on toast and pretty good in a pb&j, too. So much more strawberry flavor than the store-bought variety, since there is no corn syrup drowning out that strawberry tartness. Since I'm not yet domesticated enough to can jam, I gave half to my sister and kept half in our fridge for use in the next couple of weeks.
Little brother approved.
Next, I tried to replicate this fabulous find from Pinterest:
Oven-dried strawberries anyone? They seemed like an awesome snack, so I ventured a try.
I left them in about 45 extra minutes and they were still a soggy mess. Not anything I would want to snack on. Fail! I think any future attempts will require a legitimate dehydrator, and I will forget about this keep-my-oven-going-for-four-hours-during-the-summer business. (P.S. Mom, can I borrow your dehydrator?)
In the interest of avoiding wastefulness, I tossed these in a baggie in the fridge and may try to chop them up and toss them in muffins or something. If they don't gross me out too much when I pull them out again.
My last project was by far the easiest and quickest: popsicles! The boys love them, and the store-bought ones have a surprising amount of junk in them. Here's my recipe: 1 to 1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries, 1 ripe banana, 1 ripe pear (cored). Blend, freeze, and enjoy!
The sweetness of the pear and banana balance out the tart strawberries. Pure, guilt-free, fruity goodness.
Only one warning: you or your loved ones may require a bath following consumption.
The remaining strawberries were either eaten or frozen for smoothies, and I am happy to say that not a single one went to waste! I wonder how much the strawberries will be this week...? =)