Friday, June 12, 2009

STRAWBERRIES!

When we woke up this morning, it was pouring. Drat! This was the day I'd planned to go strawberry picking and get some stuff put up. Well, fortunately, the rain mostly stopped and I decided to go anyway. It was a great thing - there was no one there (for a while, I was the only person in the field) and the strawberries were plentiful. I filled an entire flat in less than 45 minutes and in only half of one row. I didn't even need to wear the rain pants and hat!

As I mentioned in a previous post, I needed to make a double batch of strawberry jam and some strawberry lemonade concentrate. Unfortunately, my canner didn't hold enough jars for me to make a double batch in one fell swoop, so I had to make 2 single batches. Fortunately, jam goes quick: wash, crush, measure, boil, add pectin, put in the jars. Each batch made 4.5 pints so I have LOTS of jam this time.

On to the strawberry lemonade. A comment from beadgirl made me pay more attention to how much it made. Using the recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, I made a double batch and ended up with 5 quarts and a little bit more. According to the book, I should have gotten 7 quarts, but as beadgirl had mentioned, the yield seems to be off. This pretty much fits with my experience of last year, when I ended up with 4 quarts and a lot that we drank right away with 2 batches. What I should have done is use the larger pot - this was one of those times when I take unnecessary risks:

But it was really pretty when I added the lemon juice - it formed a yin-yang of pink and yellow that disappeared before I could get my camera going.

Ah, yes, the camera. I'm using my iPhone because for some reason, our little Elph is having lens issues. I think someone may have dropped it one too many times? Regardless, I'm exhausted, and I still have a lot of strawberries to go. Imagine how it was last year when I had 2 flats full!

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