June 27, 2008
The u-pick strawberry farms just opened on Wednesday – the season has started very late this year with the cool weather. I took the younger two kids out there yesterday and put them to work. They did great – we picked 25 lbs before they lost interest and had to recover at the play area, and I bought another 30 lbs (some for us and some for a friend).
The farm also sells these great strawberry shortcakes – buns similar to scones, topped with icing and sliced in half with cooked strawberries in the middle – like a warm strawberry sandwich. We had those first, followed by some corn pizza (yum) to fortify us for the drive home.
It was a schwack of berries.
Everyone has their own way of putting up strawberries, but I wash them, cut off the tops and slice them into freezer bags in pre-measured amounts for making jam. Then I can just pull them out when I’m in the mood. I also freeze some whole for use in drinks (instead of ice cubes) or baking.
No-Pectin Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
This recipe is from Mary Anne Dragan’s Well Preserved and produces a lovely tart strawberry-rhubarb jam. It uses the slow-cook method to get the jam to gel, instead of pectin.
9 cups rhubarb (chopped into 1/2 inch slices)
12 cups sugar
9 cups sliced strawberries
3/4 cup lemon juice
Combine rhubarb and sugar into a large pot – let it stand for 2 hours. Sterilize your jam jars.
Add strawberries and lemon juice and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and boil rapidly, stirring often for 20-25 minutes until jam is slightly thickened. Click here to read more about how to test for set and process jam.
Remove from heat and stir for a few minutes. Skim the foam off the top with a spoon. Pour into hot sterilized jars and seal before processing in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Let the jars cool on a rack and wait for the ping to let you know the lids are vacuum sealed. (if any don’t ping, put those jars in the fridge and use them first). A little bit of summer saved in a jar!
A part of last night’s harvest: more strawberries and shelling peas.