Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strawberry summer

After snoozing a little later than normal due to a late night of Phishing, Saturday morning Jim and I heading out a local flea market (snagging 2 vinyls, 4 books and a really cool painting that is actually a secret key box for a whoopin' total of $3), then it was off to ShadyBrook Farm for strawberry picking. It was overcast and threatening rain, so we basically had the entire place to ourselves and loved it! We ended up with almost 15 lbs of strawberries (and a quart of raspberries).

Fresh picked strawberries are just so, so delicious. I'm pretty sure I could have eaten the entire 15 lbs solo, but I thought it was in my better judgement to capture the delightful goodness for future consumption.

In anticipation of a good garden crop this year, I decided that strawberry jam would be an easy intro to canning and preserving our own fruits and veggies. To get started I purchased a set of canning jars with lids, a canning starter kit that included a jar lifter and lid magnet thingy, pectin, and combo pressure cooker/water bath canner. I'm pretty sure you can do the water bath canning with just a large pot, but you need a pressure cooker for less acidic foods like green beans and meats, so I just decided to get it from the start. I basically just followed the recipe on the pectin but there's a lot of good info about making jams and canning out there, so I did a little reading ahead of time.

In less than 2 hours we had completed our first ever homemade strawberry jam. Aren't the little jars just so cute?!

New to the whole process, I had no idea the quantity needed to make jam. It turned out to be not nearly as many as we thought. We had plenty left....

I decided to freeze a few batches by lying in a single layer on a cookie sheet, then transferring to a freezer safe ziploc bag once frozen. Maybe I'll get inspired to make another batch of jam or even a strawberry pie!

The rest we ate on cereal, with yogurt, and of course strawberry shortcake. Using gluten free bisquick I made my own shortcakes and we pilled them high with strawberries and whip cream!! YUM!

1 comment:

Kim said...

Looks like it turned out perfect! Let the canning fun begin! :)