(credit: Crystal Grobe)

(credit: Crystal Grobe)

It was beautiful weather to enjoy a long weekend outdoors and a perfectly timed break for a lot of us who feel like the summer has already flown by. Finally, a chance to stop and smell the roses and in my case, pick 25 pounds of strawberries.

I drove out to Lorence’s Berry Farm again this year and had just enough time to pick two flats of strawberries before they closed up shop for the day. After sharing some of my pickings with my family, I spent the next day preserving as much as I could in the form of frozen strawberries, jams, cocktail syrups, popsicles and even had enough left to make two Spring Strawberry Pies.

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I make this pie every year with local strawberries and have shared the recipe link here on WCCO for the last four or five years because it is just that good! It even got the “lick your plate clean” seal of approval from Jason DeRusha.

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If you don’t want to make an entire pie, at least make the balsamic strawberry sauce to put on yogurt or ice cream. The kick of vinegar gives it a more complex flavor that brightens the taste of the strawberries.

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For a list of farms offering strawberry picking, check out the Pick Your Own guide online and be sure to call ahead to get more details on dates and hours available for picking.