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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Strawberry fields forever

We like "pick your own" farms. We've gone to the pumpkin farms of course, an apple farm in Connecticut, blueberries, and now strawberries. This has been over a month in the making. We thought it would be open around my birthday weekend (a month ago now) but the berries weren't ready yet. And then once the farm did open up we just didn't make it over there.

So this past Sunday my daughter finally insisted that we go strawberry picking. While I thought, "Darling my legs hurt and I just ran 7 miles, this sounds so delightful..."

But it was fun.

There weren't a lot of large berries as the rows were already pretty picked through but we found enough to fill a bucket to the brim - it was about 4 pounds of strawberries when all was said and done.

Then the super fun part: cleaning and storing them so they wouldn't go to waste. About a third went into the freezer, a third were put in a bowl for consumption over the next few days, and the last third became a very small jar of strawberry jam.

I googled the recipe and found one from Martha Stewart that I can no longer find the link to but it called for 2 lbs of berries, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice. I just had to guess on the measurement equivalents - I had 2 cups worth of tiny and very ripe strawberries so I figured this was probably close to 1 pound.

  • 2 cups of strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 tbsp lemon juice (approx)
Put everything in the pot and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 40 minutes turn the heat up and boil (they said 220 degrees but I don't have a candy thermometer to test) for about 15 minutes, stirring every minute or so. 

I ended up not needing the whole 15 minutes. It had reduced quite a bit and I was worried about it burning so I turned the heat down some and only went about 11-12 minutes total.

Two cups turned into this:
I think this is an 8 oz jar.
And it's going pretty quickly in our house so I didn't worry about sterilizing, sealing jars or anything since it's only one jar and will be eaten in less than a week. The 1/2 cup of sugar turned out to be pretty good. We don't like super sweet jam and some of those berries were very ripe.

So obviously, I'm now an expert on all things canning and food wise. Just call me the Berry Lady and give me my own Food Network show.

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