On Memorial Day, we made a trip with a couple of our friends to our local berry farm to do some strawberry picking. I have been begging to go pick strawberries for three years now, and finally, we made it happen. For once, May didn’t come and go without us having a moment to breathe.
Speaking of breathing, it has been so hot around here. Maybe next year we’ll do one better and not just remember the picking season, but get it on the front end when it’s not so hot. Shew! Either way, I’m glad we went!
Samuel could have cared less. To tell you the truth, I was a little surprised. I thought he would be fascinated with the red and green contrast, but alas, he was not. He looked at the berry and looked at me and just burst into tears. Ok, maybe there weren’t tears that quickly, but we hadn’t been there five minutes when he was done with the whole strawberry picking thing. He didn’t care that his mama was trying to create family memories.
Nevertheless, we had so much fun. We picked over 15 pounds of strawberries! I never would have guessed that I would nurse a baby while picking strawberries, but I did. Go ahead, be impressed. I know I was. For my conservative friends, yes I wore my cover.
Once we got home, I began to dream of all the delicious things I could do with 15 plus pounds of strawberries. I put out a tweet @n10tionalgrace (follow me!), to see if I could get some suggestions for my plethora of fruit. Twitter did not fail me. Neither did Facebook for that matter!
I have more strawberry recipes than I know what to do with. We might have to go pick more strawberries. Or maybe not. I’ll just save some of the goodies for next year.
But for now, do you want to know what I’ve decided to do with my bounty?
Glad you asked.
First things first, we made chocolate covered strawberries. Why not, right?
Once we indulged ourselves, we began the long process of hulling. While hulling the fruit, I wondered to myself if it was possible to use this part of the strawberry. You know when you cut the tops off, that extra sweet part of the fruit usually gets thrown away. What a waste! This made me sad.
So I Swagbucked it (similar to Google, but you can earn points for simply using their search engine), and I discovered that the hulls can be thrown into our morning smoothies. So we washed and froze all the hulls! No wastes in this house!
Following the removal of the stems, we washed about 6 or 7 pounds worth to use for strawberry jam. I used Passionate Homemaking’s Raw Strawberry Jam recipe as my guide.
These are the ingredients that I used:
Mashed strawberries (I added 3 Kiwi that I had on hand that were about to go bad to my second batch)
Sugar – The first batch I made with Organic Cane Sugar. The second I made with sucanat (natural sweetener).
Lime juice concentrate
Pomona’s Universal Pectin
That’s all! It was so easy, and truth be told, there is no excuse for me to ever buy store-bought jam.
Making strawberry jam was far too easy and way cheaper!
I had half a mason jar of mashed berries left over after making jam so I’m using it this week in our breakfast smoothies. I might even use it as sauce or in a dressing or maybe Popsicles or frozen ice. We’ll see!
The rest of the strawberries I flash froze and bagged for later use.
We had so much fun creating memories as a family. Even Mark enjoyed the whole process. Not that I was surprised. I love that he loves just being with me, even if that means cleaning up my messes in the kitchen so I would always have a clean surface to work on. He’s truly the man of my dreams. And strawberries are the berries of choice for us. At least for now …
What about you? Have you been strawberry picking this year? What is your favorite strawberry recipe? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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