Yay! Strawberries! Now what? Because strawberry season only lasts a few weeks, many of us will suddenly find ourselves with more than we can eat before they spoil. Making strawberry jam is a great option, but there are other simple things you can do to ensure you enjoy every precious strawberry. They’ll do fine sitting out on the countertop for a few days or a bit longer in the refrigerator. If you’re going to store them this way, keep them uncovered in a vented cardboard produce box or place them in a colander so air can circulate. It’s best not to wash them until you’re ready to eat them to prevent mold.
If you have a large quantity, it might make sense to divide them into portions and do different things with them.
My favorite thing to do with fresh strawberries is to prep them with a little fresh lemon (or any citrus) and sugar for easy eating. This was what my mother always did, probably to help them last a few days longer in the refrigerator. It also makes them easy to dish up and eat by themselves or in a fruit salad, or on top of yogurt, ice cream, or cereal.
Simply give your strawberries a rinse, pat them dry, cut off the stems, and slice them into bite-sized quarters. Splash them with a scant amount of fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with a little sugar. The amount of sugar you use will depend on your taste and how tart the strawberries are. I prefer natural cane sugar, which adds a little texture, but white sugar works well too.
Depending on how many you have and how ripe they are, you may choose to freeze a portion of your strawberries.
To do this, just give them a rinse, pat dry, lay on a baking sheet, and place uncovered in the freezer. The next day, transfer to a freezer bag.
Frozen strawberries are a little soft when you defrost them, so they’re great for baking or mixing in yogurt or smoothies. Of course, strawberry season coincides with rhubarb season, so if you freeze both, you’ll be ready to make strawberry rhubarb crisp when the cooler weather arrives and inspires you to do some baking.