Skip To Content

Late-Season Strawberries for Shabbat

The last of the season’s local strawberries at a New York farmers’ market this week.

Strawberries are on my mind, even though the season is winding down. Beautiful in form and color with a sweet, mouth-watering aroma, they are irresistible and I am still picking the last of them. They do not have a specifically Jewish connection, but they have always had a presence in American Jewish cuisine, in both Old- and New-World traditions. And when we incorporate them in our Sabbath celebration, they assume a near-holy dimension.

The Recipes

When we operated a backcountry farm, our strawberry harvests were huge — but getting them to market was a problem. That’s when I developed many ways to serve them to our guests, as well as ways to preserve them for the winter months, as described in my first book, “Old-Fashioned Jams, Jellies, and Sweet Preserves.” And when the celebration of Shabbat became a part of our lives, I adapted these ways for the occasion, not only for desserts, as you would expect, but in strawberry-inspired breakfasts or brunch on Saturdays when dairy foods often come to the fore.

If you don’t grow your own, look for strawberries in city-wide green markets and farmers’ markets around the country where they may be available into July. At Whole Foods and specialty markets strawberry season runs longer.

Jo Ann Gardner lives in the Adirondacks where she and her husband maintain a small farm with extensive gardens. Her latest book is “Seeds of Transcendence: Understanding the Hebrew Bible Through Plants.” She can be reached via her website

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.