LOCAL STRAWBERRIES: Savor the sweetness!

May 20th, 2021

No matter what area you live in, it’s likely strawberries carry some sort of nostalgic story. Growing up in Indiana, friends would have small patches of strawberries. One neighbor let us come over and pick a basket full to bring home once they were ripe. It was always a special treat when Mom brought out the sugar dish and let us dip a freshly washed strawberry right in. Oh. So. Sweet.

Later in life, my husband I lived in Tennessee for several years. Strawberry season was huge there! There was even a special Strawberry Festival, and everyone seemed to have special strawberry attire to wear in late spring. One of my favorite lunch spots served the most delicious strawberry cake.

Now back in Indiana, my mom and mother-in-law have found a special connection over strawberry pretzel salad (recipe shared below). Mom loved the dish so much, she began requesting it on special holidays from my mother-in-law. How sweet strawberry season is and all the memories it carries with it.

This heart-shaped superfood is a low-calorie nutritious addition to any diet. Strawberries are packed full of:

  • Vitamins
  • Antioxidants 
  • Fiber

Strawberries can grow in several climates and various soils, so long as they have direct sunlight. Peak strawberry season usually only lasts 3-4 weeks, and locally-grown berries are the most fresh and flavorful. Here are some strawberry harvest date ranges by state:

  • Georgia, April to early June
  • Illinois, late May to June
  • Indiana, late May to June
  • Iowa, late May to June
  • Kentucky, mid May to mid June
  • Michigan, late May to early July
  • Missouri, mid May to June
  • North Carolina, May
  • Ohio, late May to late June
  • Pennsylvania, late May to late June
  • South Carolina, April to May
  • Tennessee, May to early June
  • Wisconsin, late May to early July

Strawberry Pretzel Salad


  • Two packs of three-ounce strawberry Jell-O
  • Two cups boiling water
  • Two cups of crushed salted pretzels
  • Three tablespoons of white sugar
  • ¾ cup melted butter
  • Eight-ounce package cream cheese softened
  • One cup of white sugar
  • Eight ounces whipped topping thawed in the fridge
  • One pound of fresh strawberries hulled and sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Stir together crushed pretzels, melted butter and three tablespoons sugar
  3. Mix well and press mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Bake eight to 10 minutes, until set. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl stir together cream cheese and one cup of sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread mixture onto cooled crust.
  6. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in fresh strawberries and allow to set briefly. When mixture is a creamy consistency, pour and spread over whipped cream cheese layer. 
  7. Refrigerate until set.
  8. When ready, slice into squares. If you wish, polish with a dollop of whipped topping on each slice.

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