Friday, June 8, 2012

Strawberry Time - And Jam Recipe

Hello! Usually I drag our daughter along to help pick strawberries, but the website of the U-Pick place I frequent indicated that people should come out this week. I assume this meant that the berries were nearing their end for the season, so even though our daughter was still in school, I went yesterday to get some strawberries. 

For any locals reading this, I went to DeLange's Redberry Farm (redberryfarm.info). Their fields always seem very tidy to me, and the rows are slightly raised, which means a bit less stooping than usual to pick the strawberries. 

The berries were on the smallish side - in previous years, the U-Pick had been in a different field at the same farm, and that has bigger berries. A fellow picker told me she'd been to another section of the farm on Monday and the berries were much bigger there - probably that same field. Presumably that field was picked over; perhaps an earlier variety is grown there.  Due to our mild winter and hot March, the berries are earlier this year. We did our U-Pick thing last year on June 21st, and there was no warning that we had to come out that week for best picking. Yesterday, June 7th, was near the end of the line this year. 

There were still plenty of berries though:


And I ended up with this, some 12 3/4 pounds later:

Already some berries have been "processed" - that is, we had strawberry shortcake last night, I froze some berries for future use, and our daughter and I had strawberry smoothies for breakfast this morning. 

Later on today I'll make some strawberry jam using THIS

I like this recipe because not only is it easy, but it uses far less sugar than many jam recipes do. It's a nice treat to take a container of homemade strawberry jam in the dead of winter to put on toast or mix in with plain Greek yogurt. 

And as the recipe variations indicate, it can be used for other fruits as well - I have tried it with raspberries, cherries and plums. They were all good!


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