From December through February, Florida strawberries dominate the U.S. market.
They’re available in grocery stores, packed in tidy clamshell containers and can be found at our local farmers’ markets—just-picked, plump, ruby red, ripe and sweet.
Farm-fresh strawberries are pleasantly sweet and sharp in flavor as well, and there are many places close by to the Sea Oats Motel in sunny Destin Florida, where your family can pick a basket of their very own!
Strawberries are among the most tender and most perishable of fruits, so the best-tasting ones will probably be those that have traveled the fewest miles.
When shopping for the freshest berries, be aware that the biggest berries aren’t necessarily the most flavorful ones, but color is important. Look for strawberries that are fully and deeply red. Don’t choose a berry with white or green spots in hopes it will ripen up on the windowsill; strawberries stop ripening as soon as they are picked.
Don’t wait for a special occasion to add Florida strawberries to the shopping list. This winter, take advantage of the abundance of fresh berries by including them in everything from desserts, breakfast treats and snacks to savory dishes or try one of these simple, tasty recipes from the caring staff at the Sea Oats Motel… we are making this one tonight ourselves!
FLORIDA STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKES WITH VANILLA-ORANGE SYRUP
Ingredients for Shortcakes:
Use your favorite pancake mix or recipe.
Ingredients for syrup:
- 1 pint Florida strawberries, trimmed and quartered
- 1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 to 1½ Tbsp. finely grated fresh Florida orange zest
- ¼ cup fresh Florida orange juice
- ¼ cup chilled heavy cream
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. sour cream
To make syrup, scrape seeds from vanilla bean with tip of sharp knife into a small saucepan, then add pod. Add sugar, water, zest and juice. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, and boil one minute. Transfer to a bowl and chill 30 minutes. Pour syrup through a fine sieve into another bowl and discard solids. Gently stir in strawberries and let stand 15 minutes.
To make cream, beat together heavy cream, sugar and sour cream until mixture just holds stiff. To assemble, make shortcakes (pancakes). Drizzle with syrup from strawberry mixture. Spoon strawberries onto pancakes, top rounds with dollops of cream and drizzle with remaining syrup.
For more tips, recipes and ideas for your visit to Destin, Florida, be sure to make your next reservation at the lovely Sea Oats Motel, an original beachfront favorite for families visiting the beautiful beaches of the Emerald Coast.
Ideal for the more laidback traveler, the Sea Oats Motel is perfectly situated on Old Highway 98, away from the crowds, yet only a moment away from all the outstanding shopping, dining, and attractions that make our home so amazing.
Each of our suites are designed to be your home away from home while visiting our beautiful beaches. Fine furnishings, spacious living areas, sumptuous beds dressed in fresh linens, and large, modern bathrooms will ease your mind and your body.
Not only is the Sea Oats Motel conveniently located just steps from the beach or all the great dining, shopping and entertainment the city offers, but our amenities and service are so outstanding that you may never want to leave.
Your family will love lounging around our beautiful, heated pools, surrounded by lush tropical foliage and fragrant blooms, all overlooking endless stretches of private beaches. Our beach services are sure to delight everyone as we arrange time for your family to enjoy our jet skis, paddle boards and parasailing or simply set up some beach chairs with umbrellas and a good book recommendation.