Yes, it’s that very short, but ever so tasty season again – Strawberries! We are very lucky, living just 15 minutes walk from Lathcoat’s Farm, predominantly and historically an apple growing farm producing it’s own juice, but also in summer a PYO farm for strawberries, raspberries, plums, cherries, and many more delicious fruit.
You simply turn up with your container, or take one from the little picking hut, and pick til your heart’s content. We can never resist just one last berry, and always go home with far more than we can possibly eat, usually making jam from the remains. One of the best things about this farm is the fact that the strawberries are not along the ground, but on chest-height troughs making it far easier to find and pick, especially if you have a small 5 year old who is the perfect height to wander underneath and find all the ripe fruit! This punnet cost around £2.75.
This year, due to the earlier wet weather, the season has been quite short-lived and much of the fruit now is going mildewy, but there are still a few lovely strawbs to gather in, and the plums will be ready soon too!
One of the things that irks me about the prep of these red berries is having to hull them. I’ve tried picking out the leaf with fingers but this always seems to leave the thicker green inner core. Another method with which I’ve had some success is to use a straw. Simply push up from the bottom of the berry, through the leaf and pick out. This works well but sometimes you still don’t get all of the green. I’ve resorted to simply using a knife to chop the top off, but am always upset by how much wastage there is of the actually berry.
So, when I heard about the Oxo Good Grips Strawberry Huller, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. The instructions seemed pretty easy – push out the blades, stick them into the leaf section, twist and pull out, then push the end to release. And it really was that easy too. Even my 5YO could do it.
It works better on bigger, firmer berries: when they are too soft, you can’t pull the hull out without squidging the rest of the berry, so choose your fruit carefully when picking!
I’ll definitely be keeping this little tool alongside my Oxo Avocado Slicer as something I use rarely, but that does it’s job fantastically, making my work much faster and easier, and much less messy. A good little tool, especially if you can’t get enough of those summer strawberries.
I’m going to be making mine into a Strawberry Prosecco Salad. Heat a pan with a little tiny drop of flavourless oil and add those squashed berries with a sprinkle of sugar and a splash of prosecco to make a strawberry sugar syrup. Chop some mint finely, sprinkle over the strawberries before drizzling the syrup over the top.
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