STRAWBERRIES have been my absolute favourite fruit for as long as I can remember. They used to be $2 a punnet but I haven't seen them lower than $2.50 for many seasons now. When they were really cheap, I'd beg my parents to get "extras"… which basically meant as many berries as I could carry. I'd usually juggle about six punnets to the trolley and, once home, they'd rarely survive the next 48 hours. Some may say I'm not a great sharer.

When I was in grade three or four, I cut up a punnet and a half of my favourite little gems to take for lunch one day. I remember getting to the bottom of them when a couple of teachers noticed how many I had eaten. "Don't you get tummy aches after eating all those berries?" one exclaimed. "Nope!" I replied as I polished off the remainders with a big berry-stained grin

These days I am fortunate enough to live close to a strawberry farm and I love to go out picking as often as I can. Farm fresh berries are fabulous for eating and for cooking with! I couldn't imagine making all my jam and seasonal dishes with strawberries at the prices they are in supermarkets. If you can find a local farm it's the best way to get fresh fruit and, most importantly, to enjoy the process of gathering it.

I love to make simple tarts and jam but my absolute favourite way to eat strawberries is simply chopped up with a sprinkling of sugar. I think I enjoy my Strawberry Salsa so much because I get to drink all of the beautiful strawberry syrup afterwards.