It’s snowing. It is the first time this season that we have had any of this wintery white and frozen water stick to the sprawling urban landscape here in Berlin. It certainly looks nice, but I am finding that I am a huge hypocrite because I always talk about how good and important cold weather and winter are, but when push comes to shove(l), I don’t really like it. It’s cold waiting for the train. The sidewalks are slippery and I will most likely have hat hair for the next few months. I guess I only like snow for skiing and in nature where it kills tick eggs and helps blueberry and echinacea seeds en route to germination.
Alas, there are several months left before garden time and I suspect they will continue to be filled with frozen precipitation. This means that now is the perfect time to get my ducks in a row for when that magical time comes.
Part of this is planning. Planning how the garden will be organized. Planning what to grow. Planning how everything that is grown will be used (because last year there were some serious logistical issues…).
And this year, I am planning on having quite a few strawberries. I let the plants from last year freely send out runners and will be scattering the new plants throughout the garden come spring. I am hoping for at least 75 plants, but I would be gladly accept more. The more the berrier….
Now, I know this sounds like a lot, but this year I have already made some plans. A plan for jam and a plan for a strawberry rhubarb pie (especially because the rhubarb that I tried to dig up endured despite my best efforts which has earned it a permanent spot in the garden).
To help me with my plans, I recently added a strawberry slicer and a strawberry huller to my kitchen arsenol. I was not sure if I would get the chance to try them out anytime soon, but as luck would have it, strawberries were on-sale this week at the grocery store.
So, I washed my little package of the uniformly red and long oval shaped strawberries courtesy of the extensive greenhouse operations in the Netherlands. At least they sort of smelled like strawberries.
The first step was the huller. It has a good simple design and I had already heard good things about it. Just grip the green top of the strawberry with the “claw”, twist and pull. Voila. The greens are gone. I am not sure why, but I was not expecting to need to twist it, but it really was not too hard. It took only a few minutes to remove all the tops.
Then the slicer. These strawberries were rather long, so I was not sure how everything would go. But, the slicer sliced through the berries with little trouble. I would, however, plan to cut extremely large berries in the future.
So, they are. Two tools of the strawberry processing trade. I am looking forward to how much time I will save come spring aka strawberry season.
Now, I just have to get through the winter here in Berlin.