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Lewes, Delaware
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May 30, 1997     Cape Gazette
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May 30, 1997

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52 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 30 - June 5, 1997 FOOD DRINK Nothing says spring like picking your own strawberries The strawberry fields of Sussex are ripening into a berry lover's paradise across the county. Unfor- tunately, they will not last forever. The juicy, red fruits are begin- ning to peak and should last for the next three or four weeks. According to some of the local growers, the cooler than usual spring could extend the season by an extra week, possibly two. "The berries are coming on fine," said Rick West of West's Produce near Milton. "The cooler temperatures are letting them ripen at a steadier pace." Those managing the "Pick- Your-Own" produce operations said there are acres of ripe berries that are ready. The operators said many customers pick early in the morning when the day is cooler because the strawberries are firmer. On hot afternoons the berries are soft and crush easier. If you are planning on picking strawberries, only pick ones that have fully ripened. Strawberries do not continue to ripen after they are picked like other produce. They also should be used or pre- served within two days of picking them to keep them fresher and sweet. "Everyone has their own pick- ing style," said Martin Isaac of Isaac's Family Farm in George- town. The Isaac's have sold pro- duce since the '30s and Martin said, "There are no picking rules" The prices of strawberries are fairly consistent across the county. They range from 50 cents to 65 cents a pound when using the "P.Y.O." companies. Strawberries make a cool deli- cious dessert during the long hot summer days. And frozen straw- berries in the winter help remind people that winter will end some- time and summer will come again. There are many great ways to pre- pare strawberries. Sugared, creamed, stewed or plain, straw- berries are easy to gather and easy to store-they are also easy to dis- appear. Therefore buy enough to last until next season, nearly 11 months away. The Delaware Department of Agriculture has a free directory that lists many produce operations and nurseries around Delaware. The booklet, Delaware Farm Mar- ket Directory, has. each county listed separately. At the beginning of each section, there is map of each county and each place listed within the directory is highlighted. After the map, the places listed are alphabetized with a brief descrip- tion of products, general direc- tions, and a telephone number to call for more information. Anyone interested in obtaining a free copy can call the Delaware Department of Agriculture at (800) 282-8685 or (302) 739- 4811. The "Pick-Your-Own" opera- tions around the county that have strawberries are : Broadcreek Strawberries Broadcreek-Bethel Road Seaford (302) 875-3872 Eli's Country Inn Route 36 Harrington (302) 349-4265 Isaac's Family Farm Rt. 113 south Georgetown (302) 856-7245 Magee Farnl Rt. 54 east of Selbyville Selbyville (302) 436-5589 (call first) Angle Moon photo Harvesters' (left to right) Jose B. Castro, Samuel Ramps, Roel Leon, and Eduardo Troche picked strawberries Wednesday at West's Produce near Milton. The berries are ripe and deli- cious, making the rewards of eating them worth all the work. Strawberries: Buying, storage Buying and storage tips for strawberries include choosing berries that are firm, plump and well rounded with a rich red color and bright green caps. Strawber- ries stored in the refrigerator should be unwashed and covered. Never wash berries or remove caps until just before using them. Washing removes the protective outer layer and caps protect the berries and help preserve flavor and nutrients. Strawberries have great nutri- tional value - they are sodium free, a source of dietary fiber, a source of potassium, are rich in Vitamin C and folicin and have no choles- terol. Here are some strawberry recipes: Fresh Strawberry Cheese Pie 1 (9 inch) baked pastry shell or graham cracker crust 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened con- densed milk and recipe tips 1/3 cup lemon juice 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 pint fresh strawberries cleaned, hulled and sliced. 1 (14 to 16 oz.) jar prepared strawberry glaze, chilled. In a large mixer bowl, beat cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in condensed (NOT EVAPORAT- ED) milk until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and extract. Pour into prepared crust. Chill 3 hours; top with strawberries and glaze to Continued on page 53 You want your catch to always be the freshest Fish like to swim, people like to eat ... how do we get the two to meet? Well, you could catch your own fish or you can buy it at your local market. Either way, you want your catch at its freshest - when it's swimming by the Cape Region. A wide variety of fish and shell- fish are found in the inland bays and inshore and ocean waters of Delaware. As the seasons change, so do the types and amount of dif- ferent kinds of fish and shellfish available to Delaware commercial fishermen. Many fish species are ' migratory and move into or away from our area as the ocean under- goes normal seasonal changes in water temperature and other con- ditions. Bluefish, weakfish, tuna and shark are examples of migratory fish that are available in the mar- FOCUS ON FOOD Doris Hicks only caught locally during the warmer months. Shellfish like clams, oysters and lobsters live in local waters all year, but are likely to be more abundant during cer- tain times of the year because of the effects that conditions like their behavior and the effects that adverse weather conditions can have on the fisherman's ability to catch them. Other factors such as seasonal fishing closures may be in effect at times when certain species reproduce to ensure that these fish will continue to be avail- able to us and future generations of seafood lovers. Smart shoppers who are looking for both variety and value can take advantage of these natural season- al variations in our local seafood supply. The Delaware Sea Grant Marine Advisory Service devel- oped a buying guide to help con- sumers anticipate when it is a good time to buy local fish and shellfish in our area. It indicates peak seasonal har- vest in Delaware, a swell as gener- al availability of fintish and shell- fish native to Mid-Atlantic waters This chart can be used to deter- mine when certain types of seafood, particularly local Delaware products, can be readily found in the market. For the months of the year where light shading appears, you could expect to find the species listed available fresh in local mar- kets. The dark bars indicate the species' peak season. However, as mentioned earlier, the availability of a particular species may change depending on weather conditions and other factors. Call your local retailer in advance to determine if the finfish or shellfish you would like to purchase is available. Please use the chart to help select your favorite fish when they are most plentiful. Quality will be high because products tend to move quickly from local fisher- men to your local retail store or restaurant, and prices tend to be moderate. If you look at the chart and read across the top to the months of May and June, and then read down to the dark bars and then over to the corresponding left column, you can readily see what's swim- ming into local waters now. Sea Continued on page 54 This column features local restaurateurs, gro- cers, seafood purveyors, educators, etc. who write on a variety of topics in which they have some expertise. Anyone wishing to con- tribute may call the Cape Gazette at 645-7700. [ll]lfllFIT[rl " I[HTINI|llllITl[171 lllllllmllllmlllllmSTl'lr  r ...... ]" F--P  ....... 1 IT[ 1 IIIllllUIllllIll]|ll -I11111111]llllFqlf !'lTllrl I"11-IIfTYlllFI1]IIIFI[IlIRIIIllllIIrllIIIEIIIlIIII1FIlIIITllll Jill! gllRIIll 'l .... [' ['1 r r [ HI]lqIIIIIIllllIIlIr[II ]1 1 "