Did you know that strawberries are not even really a fruit? What?!? They are actually a flower, and the little pips or seeds are really the fruit. Whatever, they are delicious and versatile and just the best thing ever when they are fresh and in season.
Here are a few ways I love them most, and perhaps a couple of ideas that will inspire you to indulge in strawberries this season. Of course we have a couple of gadgets which you might like to get your hands on to help out with the mountain of strawberry prep, if your plants are generous this year.
To start with, what better way to enjoy strawberries, than fresh off the plant. Depending on the strawberry variety they may have different levels of sweetness, and you can be forgiven for adding a dusting of caster sugar, a dollop of ice cream or even better thick gooey clotted cream. Strawberries served fresh and never chilled (just like a tomato) will retain more flavour and sweetness.
Strawberries for breakfast, the healthy way - with yoghurt, on top of cereal or granola or in a smoothy - strawberry and banana is a great combination. But if you want to treat yourself and don't mind just a few extra calories, then add them to pancakes or waffles, with a bit of squirty cream - yum.
If you've got a bigger crop, you might want to do something a bit more creative, an indulgent strawberry ice cream would make good use, and keep for a long time in the freezer.
There's always Eaton Mess with crunchy meringue and soft cream, perfect for dining outside on a summers evening and for the bakers, a strawberry cheesecake perhaps - or my all time favourite - my Mum's Strawberry Summer Cake; layers of sponge, meringue, whipped cream and of course stuffed with strawberries at every level (makes mental note to get recipe from Mum).
To help monster through the prep on a bigger crop of strawberries, check out this amazing gadget the Chef'n StemGem Strawberry Huller
Like many of us though, you might not have a garden or allotment, but are still growing strawberries in window boxes and pots around your home. If your strawberry plant is new this year and you've only got a few little fruits, then indulge yourself with a glass of something cool and bubbly - champaign, prosecco, sparkling white wine and drop one of those little capsules of sweet joy into the glass.
Choose the perfect glass for that bottle of bubbly, we've got some beautiful glassware, have a look at our Champagne Glasses.
We haven't gone anywhere near Jam making, that'll come later, but if you want to get in the mood, have a look at our Jam Making range.
But most of all, enjoy those strawberries x