You Gotta Love ‘Em



We are all enjoying Summer, especially the perfect dessert, fresh, beautiful fruits available for sale on every corner, in supermarkets, Farmer’s Markets and U-Pick fields. With all the backyard parties, picnics and BBQ’s, strawberries are a perfect fit. Who doesn’t just love them?

If you have ever lived in the Pacific Northwest, then you know there are many special strawberry varieties that are plentiful and especially loved. Now that I am back in ‘strawberry country’ I am getting my fill of this luscious berry.

Here are some NW varieties of strawberries that are really good eating, however have all different purposes. Thought it would be interesting to share!

HOODS – These are known for their exceptionally sweet flavor and are perfect for shortcake. Unfortunately they have a very short season so grab them anytime you see them.

OREGON TOTEM – This is an original old time favorite, popular for keeping fresh a long time. When tested for sweetness among six other varieties, this one came out on top. These are grown mainly in Southern Washington and Oregon and distributed across the USA.

SHUKSAN – My favorite! These are great for just eating or especially in jams because of their natural pectin. They are grown mostly in the Lynden, Bellingham and the Upper Peninsula areas, which is why they were so plentiful for us when we formerly lived here. These berries are so fragile that you can’t pick a whole bunch at once as they crush each other under the weight. Other strawberries have a job competing with these beauties.

PUGET SUMMER – This is a large firm berry and excellent for eating fresh or dipping in chocolate. Not readily available here so much anymore as there has been a glitch in production over the last couple of years. The problem is that they ripen early and need lots of sun, something that we don’t get a whole lot of, early enough. If you see this variety for sale you’ve gotta try them. Just delicious!

FIRECRACKER – These are great because they ripen in mid-Summer, around the 4th of July and continue on through August, thus extending the season. They are great fresh, sliced and freeze terrific.


* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Freezer Strawberry Jam
4 cups crushed strawberries
3 cups sugar
1 box Sure-Jell
(The no-sugar type. It’s the pink box.)
1 cup water

Mix water and sugar in pot, add Sure-Jell and blend well.
Slowly bring to boil. Boil 1 minute stirring constantly.

Add sugar mixture to the strawberries. Stir 1 minute and pour into jars.
Let the jam set at room temperature for 24 hours before putting into the freezer.
Doubles and triples real well.

Alternate titles for this blog: “Please pass the whipped cream!” ~ “Freeze now, enjoy later!” ~ “Strawberry-Rhubarb pie anyone?” ~ “Betcha can’t eat just one!”


5 responses to this post.

  1. Over here our fave dessert is fresh strawberries, we can’t get enough of them! Thanks for the info, I will be on the lookout for the different kinds now!


  2. My kids would eat strawberries morning noon and night. Strawberries just might be the favorite fruit at this house. Thanks for the Jam recipe. I will definitely make it.


  3. Freezer jam is my favorite. I made it when Gary and I were first married and found out that he didn’t care for it. In a way it worked out. More for me.


  4. I’m craving strawberries….Heidi, thanks for sharing your jam.


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