Susan S. Yeske: Dining In - Recipe of the Week

Harbinger of summer due to bloom



Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury grows a portion of the farm’s strawberry crop inside high tunnels, ensuring it is always the first to have local strawberries.

Few crops are as eagerly awaited as local strawberries, which usually arrive around Memorial Day and are a harbinger of the summer harvest to come.

Their season is short but very sweet, and it will be celebrated Saturday and Sunday with the annual Strawberry Festival at Peddler’s Village in Lahaska.

If you have been looking for local fresh berries, it’s still a little early for most farms, especially since last week’s cool weather slowed the growing process a bit.

Manoff Market Gardens in Solebury, where farmers Gary and Amy Manoff grow part of their crop in high tunnels, is always the first. The high tunnels protect the berries from cold and rain, and the Manoffs harvested their first fruit of the year last week.

Gary Manoff said plenty of strawberries are growing in the fields, and he anticipates a very good crop this year.

That means plenty for eating fresh, making into jam, adding to salads or baking into pies, muffins and breads.

Other local growers looking forward to a good year are Breezy Meadows Farm outside Perkasie, Brumbaugh’s Farm in Telford, Fairview Farm in Pineville, Hellerick’s Farm north of Doylestown, Lapinski Farm in Dublin, Milk House Farm near Washington Crossing, Peace Valley Winery in Chalfont, Penn Vermont Fruit Farm in Bedminster, Rick’s Egg Farm in Kintnersville, Shady Brook Farm outside Yardley, Tabora Farm & Orchard in Chalfont, The Market at DelVal College outside Doylestown and Trauger’s Farm Market in Kintnersville. Terhune Orchards in Princeton, N.J., also grows strawberries.

If you head for the Strawberry Festival from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday you can test your appetite at the strawberry pie-eating contest at 3 p.m. each day on the Main Green, or sample a variety of strawberry treats. Those include strawberry shortcake doughnuts, waffle bowls, fritters, jams, jellies, salsas, cheesecakes, popcorn, chocolate-dipped strawberries and even some strawberry-rhubarb combinations.

Admission and parking are free. For more on the festival see peddlersvillage.com.

You can pick up a fresh strawberry pie at the Strawberry Festival or you can make this easy recipe from tasteofhome.com:

Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie

1 unbaked pastry shell (9 inches)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup water
1 package (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
4 cups sliced fresh strawberries
Fresh mint, optional

1. Line unpricked pastry shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.

2. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and water until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in gelatin until dissolved. Refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly cooled.

3. Meanwhile, arrange strawberries in the crust. Pour gelatin mixture over berries. Refrigerate until set. Garnish with mint if desired. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

Susan.yeske@gmail.com

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