The six of us piled into cars and took a short trip to the strawberry patch. Being the first day of ripening, the picking was not easy. You couldn't stay in one spot very long as the red berries were scattered here and there throughout the rows. (The littlest of our party running from one to the others of us...eating more than picking.) But after an hour and a half we were done and had 32 lbs of strawberries to show for it. Yes, I said 32 lbs.
|I call this one: Berries on Formica|
Our intention for picking so many was to make jam and use our new bath canner put the jars up properly. Little did we know that 3 days, and over 40 jars later...we would finally finish processing all those strawberries! We over-picked and paid the canning piper...but we will be enjoying that mistake all year long! Wow, this home-made jam is sooo yummy.
We tried a few recipes and every one of them ended up being a winner. We made strawberry-orange, strawberry-blueberry, strawberry-vanilla, plain strawberry, low-sugar strawberry, and low-sugar strawberry-blueberry. I used the low sugar recipe from The Homemade Pantry cookbook, it is spectacular. Those were just as tasty as the regular ones and I didn't miss the sugar a bit.
The bath canning process is time-consuming and frankly made me a wee bit nervous. All of the directions that I read on the subject put the fear of God in me about botulism. I'm sure we did everything okay, but there is talk of purchasing a pressure-cooker to add to our canning arsenal. Those bad mama-jammas don't play with germs.
Even though we may have overdid it with 32 lbs of strawberries, we are not turned off by making jam in the future....raspberry season we will be ready for you!
PS-I know I promised some quilt close-ups today...but strawberries wait for no one!