It's that time of year. Strawberry season usually sneaks up on me because I think of it too early and have to tell myself to wait, and then it seems like I usually get caught up in other things and risk missing them. That happened to me the year before last; I couldn't believe it. A whole year with no strawberries in the freezer. It was horrible.
During their short season, I like to eat them fresh in all kinds of ways, but I always have to have some in the freezer to enjoy their fresh, bright taste during the dark winter months. Strawberries are so easy to put up. I average putting 40 pounds in my freezer each year. I simply hull them, cut them into quarters (depending on their size), smash them with my hands a bit, add sugar to taste, ladle them into freezer containers, and then sit back and feel good about my stash. Be sure to let them sit and macerate in the sugar a bit and, whatever you do, don't add any water! They'll produce plenty of their own juice. When fresh strawberries are available, I prepare them this way for immediate use, too.
I use these little frozen containers through the year on waffles and pancakes, for strawberry shortcake, for strawberry smoothies or blended "adult beverages," and many other similar uses. By far though, the most common use for this strawberry "topping" is the ultra simple strawberries and cream.
First, I gotta tell you that I am a whipped cream fanatic. Hmmm... that may not be a strong enough word. Actually, I am obsessed with whipped cream (have you ever tried whipped cream on a bowl of raisin bran and milk? Sublime!). But, I recently found that I also really like half-whipped cream. Talk about a simple dessert (or snack!). Pour a little heavy whipping cream in a small bowl, add a little sugar and vanilla and start running a fork through it until it gets partially whipped. Pour this over your strawberries and enjoy. Whoops, excuse me... I hear some strawberries calling my name!