Sunday, June 10, 2012

There's a Strawberry Festival at My House!

Looking ahead at my schedule for the next few weeks, it actually made sense to drag everyone out of bed at 6:30 this morning to go strawberry picking.  The farm I usually frequent had a notice on their website that because it was so crowded yesterday, they expected to be picked out by mid-morning.  I insisted we leave earlier than originally planned.

And, then, we waited in a line of cars (we were third, but only because the people in front of us lost their place when they decided they could maybe go when the two cars in front of them were waiting.  Hah.) and hurried to the fields, where the picking was...glorious!  We netted 13+ pounds of berries, which is about 9 quarts, in about 25 minutes.  We visited the goats, chickens and rabbits, ate strawberry donuts (which were still warm, mmmm) and drove home.  All before 9 am, and in lovely 70-ish degree weather.

Since then, I have made a batch of strawberry jam (8 half-pints), strawberry margarita jam (8 half-pints), a double batch of strawberry lemonade concentrate (5 quarts), a strawberry rhubarb pie, 2 blueberry tarts with the leftover pie crust, mac and cheese for lunch, and I am soaking rice and marinating meat for dinner. Plus a quart and a bit of berries for eating and another quart washed, sliced, and mixed with sugar for tomorrow, when I make shortcake.  All that, and I had to wait for my husband to get back from the grocery store with more sugar, lemon juice, limes, and other key ingredients.  (He went by bike, and even after putting all the groceries in his panniers, the bread was unscathed.  Maybe I will try to bike in the future.)

In the past, I'd had trouble with the strawberry jam setting up.  I think some of it had to do with jar size and maybe also the type of pectin I use.  Today I tried the powdered pectin rather than the liquid, just for this batch.  It did set up, so that is reassuring.  The strawberry margarita jam isn't setting as quickly, but I think the alcohol in it slows things down.  It did work last year....

Huh.  For a day that was supposed to be the day we did nothing, we sure are doing a lot!

3 comments:

  1. Sounds really good. I am waiting to pick blueberries here at an U-pick-it farm close by. It should be any day now that they have it in the paper that we can come.
    Strawberry doughnuts sound wonderful! I hadn't thought of that before.
    I have such a problem getting jam to set lately that I have stopped trying.

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  2. Gee our garden strawberries just start and I mean started to sat fruit. As for my rhubarb some how it died over the winter...Coffee is on.

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  3. I can't believe how much you accomplished in one day! The pie looks beautiful - glad the youngest liked the crust! Maybe she'll graduate to fillings one of these days! We haven't had rhubarb in ages...must make a move on that!

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