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It’s strawberry season

Pick your own berries at Patty's Berries &

Pick your own berries at Patty's Berries & Bunches Plan a family outing to pick your own berries in the summer at Patty's Berries & Bunches in Mattituck: strawberries in June; blueberries, July-August; raspberries, July-September; and blackberries, August. Open daily June-October, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; 631-298-4679; pattysberriesandbunches.com. Credit: Shawna VanNess

This time of year, it’s strawberries at least once a day for me. I don’t bother with them for most of the year, but now that strawberry season is in full swing, I can hardly get enough. For breakfast, I top them with some Greek yogurt and toasted slivered almonds. I nibble them throughout the day. At night I might pour some heavy cream over them — or just repeat my breakfast routine.

When I get strawberries home from the market, I pick through the carton, taking out any bruised or leaking berries and dispatching them posthaste by eating them on the spot. The rest I arrange in a single layer in a colander or mesh strainer. Refrigerating berries dulls the flavor. For 24 hours or so, they’ll do just fine on the countertop. If I have more than a day’s supply, I’ll put them in the fridge, but will try to remember to take them out an hour or so before I want to eat them so they’ll warm up to room temperature.

It’s the rare strawberry that doesn’t benefit from a little sugar. After I hull and slice them (into halves, thirds or quarters, depending on their size), I sprinkle maybe a half teaspoon of sugar on all but the sweetest specimens.

Here’s a list of places to pick your own strawberries on Long Island. And here’s a list of local farmers markets where they should be for sale for the next few weeks.

Strawberries  at Patty's Berries and Bunches in Mattituck

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