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Strawberries are a fruit that can usually be found fresh, somewhere in the world, at any time of year. To use a large quantity of fresh berries, follow some of these creative and simple recipes:


A Kid's Favorite, Strawberry Popsicles
(makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:
4 c. chopped strawberries
4 c. low fat vanilla yogurt
24 wooden popsicle sticks
24 small paper cups

Directions:
1) Mix berries and yogurt. Blend well.
2) Fill cups, then cover with aluminum foil.
3) Insert stick through foil.
4) Freeze until firm.
5) Once popsicles are frozen, place in freezer bags to maintain longer freezer life.


A Summer Party Favorite, Strawberry Salad Cupcakes
(makes 15)

Ingredients:
6 oz cream cheese
1 c heavy cream
1/4 c mayonnaise
1 c mini marshmallows
2 c sliced sweet berries
1 lg. can of crushed pineapples

Directions:
1) Slowly add cream to cheese and beat until thick.
2) Mix in remaining ingredients;blend well.
3) Pour into muffin pans lined with cupcake papers.
4) Cover loosely with plastic and put in freezer.
5) When they are frozen, remove them from the pans.
6) Place in airtight freezer containers and use them as needed.


If you prefer to bake your strawberry goodies but don't have the time to do it right away, he strawberries can simply be washed, hulled, and then frozen, whole or sliced with or without a little sugar. When you are ready to bake, grab some berries out of the freezer and enjoy some treats fresh from the oven. Some great baking recipes are:


Tea Party Favorites, Srawberry Tea Muffins
(makes 2 dozen)

Ingredients:
1/2 c shortening
2/3 c sugar
4 beaten eggs
4 c flour
10 teaspoons baking powder
2 tsps. salt
1 1/3 c milk
1 c strawberries, chopped

Directions:
1) Cream shortening and sugar together.
2) Add eggs & mix well.
3) Sift 1 1/2 c flour, baking powder, and salt together. Add this mixture to the first mixture alternately with milk.
4) Sprinkle strawberries with remaining flour and stir in lightly.
5) Bake in greased muffin pans in 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.


Spicy Strawberry Bread
(makes 2 loaves)

Ingredients:
2 c strawberries, sliced or chopped
3 c sifted flour
2 c sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsps. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 beaten eggs
1 1/4 c vegetable oil
1 c chopped nuts

Directions:
1) Sift together flour, sugar, salt, soda, and spices in large mixing bowl.
2) In a smaller bowl, mix eggs and oil.
3) Gradually add egg mixture into flour mixture, alternately with strawberries.
4) Stir in nuts.
5) Pour batter into two greased and floured loaf pans.
6) Bake in 350 degree oven 45-50 minutes.


If your abundance of berries arouses a desire to be homey and industrious, here are two preserving recipes straight from grandma's kitchen. They require a canning kettle and canning jars.


Grandma's Old Fashioned Strawberry Preserves

Ingredients:
1 qt. fresh strawberries
2 c sugar

Directions:
1) Layer the berries in a large kettle, sprinkling equal amounts of sugar over each layer. Let them stand for 40 minutes.
2) Bring them to a slow boil; then turn them to low heat and cook for 15 minutes.
3) Pour mixture onto large trays and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
4) Set mixture in sun for 2 days, bringing inside in the evening.
5) Put into sterile jars and seal according to your canning directions.


Strawberry Preserves
1) Select large, firm, tart berries. Wash, drain, and remove caps.
2) For each pound of berries, use 1 pound of sugar. In cooking kettle, alternately layer fruit and sugar, starting with berries.
3) Let stand 8-10 hours or overnight before cooking.
4) While heating to a boil, stir carefully. Boil rapidly 10 to 20 minutes or until syrup is thick. Be sure to prevent burning.
5) Remove the top scum.
6) Pour at once into hot, sterilized jars and seal according to your canning directions.