Berry picking can be one of summer's true pleasures: small wild strawberries in June, then blueberries and raspberries as July melts into August the sweet, sun-warmed fruit better than any kind of candy. But in today's time-challenged world, most of us forage in supermarkets or, more happily, in green markets when the season permits. No matter where you pick or pick up your berries, knowing what to look for, how best to store them, how to cook with fresh berries or the versatile frozen alternative, will add to your enjoyment. Janie Hibler, an authority and a berry thorough one at that quotes chapter and verse on all the essentials and provides 175 terrific recipes and an illustrated A-to-Z berry encyclopedia in The Berry Bible. This is a wonderful time of year to use fresh berries in creative ways: try Janie's Fresh Beet and Raspberry Salad, serve Curried Halibut with a Strawberry-Papaya Relish or SautŽed Chicken with Blueberries and Blueberry Port, fill sponge cake layers with boysenberries and boysenberry curd. Then freeze ripe berries (instructions included) for winter consumption and stock your pantry shelves with homemade Raspberry-Red Currant Jam and Blackberry-Chile-Mint Preserves. All berry doable and berry good!

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