Stepping Out

Long Island strawberries ripe for the picking

Day-tripped in local berry fields


It’s time to think red – as in strawberries. Those succulent, just ripened berries are ready for picking right now. This short-lived treat is not to be missed by strawberry lovers and makes for an enjoyable family outing. So get everyone together and trek out to one of the many u-pick growers for an adventure in the berry patch.
Local growers are reporting a good crop this season. This year’s cool spring has slowed ripening and the result is tasty, luscious berries, according to growers.
Expect the fields to be crowded and call ahead before you head out to the farm. A large turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so be sure to check first.
When you are done picking, resist the temptation to devour those beauties on the way home. Then, when you return with your bounty, prepare some yummy strawberry treats. These fresh gems are always terrific on their own, of course, but when used in a recipe, they’ll jazz up any meal.
Get inspired with these recipes.

Strawberry Shortcake
The quintessential summer treat never goes out of style.

3 baskets of fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
Whipping cream

1. Remove the stems from the strawberries. Slice into thin (1/4 to 1/8-inch slices. Put into a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of sugar (depending on how sweet the strawberries are to begin with) and mix into the strawberries. Set aside at room temperature to macerate (which means that the sugar will soften the strawberries and help release their juices).
2. After the strawberries have been sitting for 20 minutes or so, take a potato masher and mash them a little. Not too much, just enough to get more juice out of them.
3.Whip the cream, adding a drop or two of vanilla and a teaspoon of sugar.
4. To serve, break up one biscuit per person into big pieces into a bowl. Ladle strawberries over the biscuit (either scratch-made or Bisquick recipe). Add a dollop of whipped cream.

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