I know they look nice, but this actually wasn't the best year for strawberries, especially when a container of locals costs six bucks. They just don't have the full flavor of previous years -- they're still strawberries, they're still good, but I elected not to make strawberry jam this year, for instance. It's expensive to make since the way I make it is like 90% berries, so I'm just going to use up other jams from other seasons instead.
However. Like I said: they're still strawberries. There are still things to do. While I ate most of this year's berries plain, on ice cream, or with yogurt for breakfast, there's also this:
Macerate sliced berries with sugar. That just means toss them with sugar and let them set a few hours, stirring once in a while. Blend berries and more sugar -- taste it; does it taste as sweet as sorbet? add sugar until it tastes a little sweeter than that -- and add a little Green Chartreuse. How little? Use the Chartreuse the way you would vanilla extract. Chartreuse and strawberries just go real nicely together.
Blend, freeze, kapow.
What else goes with strawberries? Campari! As you can tell, this photo from 2008 was taken on an overcast day, so the red's not popping, but this ain't a photoblog:
Those are strawberries in Limonata gelatin, stuffed with Campari. I don't have proportions for you here, because I did it by ear, but essentially:
Proof gelatin by sprinkling it on some Campari; heat up just enough water or Campari to dissolve that gelatin so that you have a Campari jello.
Remove tops from strawberries and hollow them out. Fill with the Campari jello and crowd the strawberries together in a container with sides, so that they're all keeping each other upright.
Proof gelatin in Pellegrino Limonata soda -- or Orangina or Sun Drop or Dr Enuf or what have you -- and add heated soda to dissolve that gelatin. As you can see, I made this gelatin softer than the Campari gelatin -- I wanted it to just sort of cling to the strawberries. Pour the Limonata gelatin into the sided container so that it comes partway up the strawberries. Chill the whole deal and allow to set.
But what goes best with strawberries?
Honestly, I've found nothing better than Vic Cherikoff's Australian Fruit Spice blend. It's ridiculously expensive because of the shipping cost from Australia, but you can make it last a long time. Sprinkled on melon or strawberries, the blend of forestberry herb, sumac, forest anise, and mountain pepper (indigenous Australian spices, apart from the sumac) highlights the berry notes of the fruit without covering anything up. It's a crazy synergy, and I wish I had more of the stuff, and could find it more cheaply.