Saturday, June 28, 2008

Strawberries

Yesterday Jeremy skipped worked and we went strawberry picking. We went to Bauer Berry Farm about 30 minutes up north. We left at 6:30 in the morning so we could be at the farm right when the fields opened up. When we arrived there was already a line to get in! There were also a lot of people in the strawberry fields picking already.

We were directed to a row of strawberries and we began picking. The morning was cool and overcast so it was perfect for berry picking. Here I am trying to decide whether to eat the strawberry or put it in the tray.



In the end we had picked 40 pounds of strawberries!




We drove home with our precious cargo in the back seat. It was a wonderful ride home with the smell of so many strawberries wafting through the car. Jeremy went to work for the rest of the afternoon and I got to work hulling berries. I froze at least 20 pounds (probably more). The frozen berries will show up through the next year in smoothies, bread, breakfast cereal, and wherever else we can think to add strawberries!



After a long day of picking, cleaning, hulling, and freezing strawberries, what better treat than fresh pound cake, fresh whipped cream, and strawberries straight from the field?



But wait! That's not all! That's only half the berries accounted for. Saturday afternoon we washed and hulled more strawberries, mashed them up, and cooked them up for jam. Here I am stirring the pot.



After the jam has gone in the jars, Jeremy put them in the hot water bath. (Thanks to my mom for all the canning supplies!!)



Strawberry Jam!



We're not sure how these turned out yet - though they did all seal. We're going to open one tomorrow at breakfast and see if it jelled enough and if it tastes okay. If it worked and tastes good, we'll probably make another half dozen 1/2 pint jars tomorrow.

But we still have a TON of strawberries! Since picking them we've had them on salads, on pound cake, alone straight out of the fridge, and we've given away containers to family, friends, and co-workers. The fridge is still packed out with trays, pots, bowls, and various other containers heaped full of strawberries.

I'm sure I'll be freezing more strawberries before the weekend is over....

3 comments:

Mom said...

Next time, give the strawberries a quick rinse, and then drain them. Don't let them sit in the water while you hull them. they can absorb extra water and that can throw off your recipe, making it more difficult to jell. And for ones you are not using right away or processing, keep in a cool place until you are ready - don't wash them off until you are ready to process them or use them. when you fill the jam jars, fill up to 1/2" from the top. If you leave too much air space, all the air won't vent out and it could lead to spoilage, even though the jars are sealed. And you need a bigger pan for jam - when it starts simmering/boiling, it can rise up pretty fast - and there is nothing worse then burns from hot jam or jelly - plus the mess it makes. Use a dutch oven like the one I use to make broccoli rabe with pasta. Hope your jam turns out ok! and if it is too runny, just use it as a sauce for ice cream or pancakes!

Mom

Aimee said...

Thanks for the tips. =) We did fill all the jars, except one, to within 1/2" to 1/4". We just ran out of jam at the end!
They all jelled and sealed, so we'll see how they are when we open them in the future.

richelle said...

Aimee, I was directed to your blog by my friend and coworker, Ashley.

Your jam is going to be delicious with that bread! I have been thinking about baking bread for a couple of weeks now, and I may do it this weekend. I've never really done it before, so let me know if you have any essential advice!