strawberries! It used to be June, but with the cold Spring we've had over the last couple of years, strawberries are ripening later. I am so glad I dragged myself out of bed yesterday morning to go to the field for some picking. Even though this was their second round, there were plenty of strawberries there and just as many people of my native origin to pick them! I am telling you, the u-picks are thriving here because of the 200,000+ of us who live in this area and love to pick them not to eat fresh but to make varenye (Russian form of jam without pectin so its more liquid than solid). Varenye. Sign. Maybe a day will come when I learn how to make a good one that doesn't require a ton of sugar, and yet does not taste sour and has a decent shelf life. Also, all the recipes I've looked at give me measurements of sugar/berry ratio in kgs. First of all, I don't have a scale, and second, I wouldn't even be able to estimate because we don't operate here in kgs. Anyway, I have my varenye on the stove now with sugar "na glas" (estimated amount). We'll see.
I do want to share a great strawberry muffin recipe I found online. I want to post it here because I know I will lose it come strawberry season next year. My muffins turned out wonderful, very light and fluffy. Today, I will try to make them with whole wheat flour. I got the recipe here.
Fresh Strawberry Muffins
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups chopped strawberries
3 tsps sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well.
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to butter mixture. Add vanilla. Gently stir in strawberries.
Spoon batter into muffin pans with liners.
Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over muffins.
Bake at 400º for 20-25 minutes.
Makes one dozen muffins.