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Strawberry bounty ready for harvest, and luscious treats

Linda Marrone
For the Nevada Appeal
CourtesyStrawberries are coming into their spring prime. To take advantage of the sweet bounty fresh off the farm, swing by the Spring Mini-Farmers Market 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays through June 4 at Greenhouse Garden Center's south parking lot.
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This is going to be a short column for me. I’m still working as a Sergeant at Arms for the Assembly and I just don’t have the time it takes to sit down and write, bake and find a recipe I want to share. This week I did find the time to make the Strawberry Jam you see in the photo.

There is an early Spring Mini-Farmers Market that will be held in the Greenhouse Garden Center’s south parking lot on Curry Street from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday through June 4 until we move over to our regular 3rd and Curry streets location on June 11.

Last week was our first one and Chuck Vue Farms from Yuba City had the most delicious, sweet, red strawberries I have ever seen so early in the season. I bought seven flats, shared some of them and jammed the rest. He also had some great asparagus, green garlic, onions, beets, new red potatoes, spring greens and shelling peas. Nevada’s Own Perennials is there selling veggie starts, tomatoes, herbs and if they didn’t bring what you were looking for you can order it. If they have it, they will bring it the next week. Lattin Farms from Fallon will be there this week and if Minton Farms has any cherries that are ripe they will show up too.

I can truthfully say I can never remember canning jam in May. Be sure to sign up for our canning classes if you are interested in apricot butter, strawberry or raspberry Jam, dill or bread & butter pickles. We will have a sign-up sheet at the markets.

Here is a perfect recipe for using some of Chuck’s strawberries and would make a great addition to a graduation or Father’s Day celebration.

Strawberries & Cream

1 package cream cheese, softened

1⁄4 to 1⁄3 cup sifted powdered sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 quart fresh whole strawberries, washed and capped

In a bowl beat cream cheese, sugar and almond extract until smooth. Chill 1 hour. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Quarter berries from tip to stem end without cutting through stem end. Pipe cheese mixture into strawberries. Chill until ready to serve.

• Linda Marrone has been a Carson City resident since 1973 and together with her husband, Ralph, formerly operated Marrone’s Restaurant in Carson City and Somethin’s Cookin’ Catering.