Friday, May 27, 2011

Strawberry Season

I grew up in the north where summers were spent playing & laying on the sandy beaches of Lake MI! Didn't realize at the time how lucky we were to have to beach so close! The other parts of our summer {when we weren't being kissed by the sun, building sand castles, & playing in the water for hours} we were picking fruits/vegetables which was followed by canning & freezing! Again, didn't appreciate a SINGLE part of any of that.....in fact I'm quite certain I did a LOT of complaining during the whole process. Even though I griped about it then I still, to this day, have good memories of those days! We worked together as a family, got the job done, & then we were rewarded with beach time! I'm finding with age I'm longing for those days.....picking your own fresh fruit & veggies, preserving them & then enjoying those yummy foods on into the winter months! Now if only we had a beach to be rewarded with!

I forget every year how early strawberry season starts & this year was no different except we were able to find 1 & only 1 small farm who still had some left! The berries were smaller as we were catching the last of the season! This strawberry farm was in the middle of NO WHERE! PERFECT! They don't have a name, they don't advertise......rather word of mouth is how we found them! AND we will return next year FOR SURE! The sweetest old lady greeted us with a HUGE smile on her face, red & white polka dot shirt, & an old strawberry apron!

With these 3 helpers at my side......
we walked down a dirt path.....
enjoying lots of nature along the short walk!
They got to work right away....I really didn't even have to do any teaching! They're natural berry pickers!
We certainly had to dig to find them but once in a while we'd hit a whole bunch at once.....
unable to resist eating a few
just like candy!
We ended up with 3 gallons.......
of this yumminess!!
AND left with strawberry stained hands.....
and clothes!
Fun experience......even if my oldest was more interested in picking grasshoppers than strawberries!
To our excitement the navigation took us back home through the mountains........we rolled down the windows, cranked up the music, & happily enjoyed the 1 hour drive home!
My mom met us at home to get the jam process started! We reminisced about doing this many years ago......she told me that when my twin & I were babies she'd take us out to the fields in bouncy seats & sing to us while she picked fruit!

It was a fun jam making afternoon of washing......
cutting the strawberry tops off.....
smashing {FUN FUN FUN!!}......
boiling, skimming, & ready to be transferred to jars.....
DONE!
We ended up with 12- pint size jars, 12- 8 oz jars, & 4- 6 oz decorative jars....enough for us, my twin, younger sister, & mom!
I'm excited at the thought of much more canning & freezing this summer!
{any deep freezer recommendations?}

2 comments:

kristi said...

gorgeous red berries. isn't it amazing how much sugar goes into jam? i was a little shocked the first time i made some.

Heidi said...

Soooo jealous! I am totally doing this now! And also have negative thoughts about doing this when I was a kid!!