Monday, May 6, 2013

Strawberry Season

     I am soooooo excited I went strawberry picking with my family Saturday.  My sister and I took my mom with my son Waylon and 2 of her kids.  We would usually go to Eutawville or Sumter but my sisters friend opened up a farm last year.  She has a full crop of strawberries and should I say beyond a full crop of strawberries!!!!  Her farm is in Cordesville, SC called Wabi Sabi Farm.  My younger son Waylon was sooooo excited to pick!  He loves handmade jam.  We ran out early this year.  So we picked 7 buckets of berries and enjoyed some family time!
     We gave a bucket to Moma,  gave a half bucket to my inlaws and cut up more for my brother! Then cut up a massive Tupperware bowl of some and 8 more jars.  I learned off Pinterest to put the berries you want to keep in the same state in mason jars and will show you this in a bit.  These are almost 2 days later with no fruit fresh or additives!
 Sunday afternoon I started to make preserves.  My son Waylon and I did the entire process together. I loved the fact that he was so excited.  That he wanted to learn the process and do it all.  We used the recipe off the box of SureJel Certo.   Its what I have always done and works well.  We made 3 recipes and filled 24 jars.  And to see Waylon's excitement as he filled and closed each jar will never be forgotten!
  We then moved on to Strawberry Syrup.  We use this on waffles and pancakes.  The recipe tripled only made 3 pint jars.  A little disappointed, but maybe that will give us a reason to pick again!   This was a simple recipe I found online.  It was 2 cups Strawberries, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar.  Crush the berries and then cook to a rolling boil.  Can as you normally can with Mason Jars.
   Next we did Strawberry Pie Filling.  Oh my!!!!!!  My favorite new recipe.  I found it at  It is just like my Husbands great grandmother Humbert's recipe!!  I remembered years ago that she used cornstarch.  Here is the recipe:

  • 16 cups Strawberries
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 box Strawberry Jello
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 12 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Mason Jars (they used pint, I used quart)
    Mash eight cups of berries place in pot.  Half the rest of the berries and set aside.  Add the 4 cups of water to mashed berries.  Simmer for 3 minutes.  The recipe said to strain the berries but I kept them in my pot.  I don't mind the messier look of the crushed berries.  Add 4 cups of granulated sugar.  After dissolving add box of jello.  After dissolved add Cornstarch and salt.  After it comes to a rolling boil and thickens, add cut berries.  Now it is ready for the cooked pie crust or to be canned!  I canned.  But what wouldn't fit into the jar I ate!!  Love this recipe and plan on making more.  I wonder how long these few jars will last? 

     I then made just sugar water syrup to store strawberries in to use as a topping for cakes.  Lesson learned for me was that I added the syrup to the jars and when the strawberries met the syrup they shrunk.  Next time I will put the berries in the pot.  But I think as it sits and flavors the syrup this will be really good with some cut berries added to the mix. Lesson learned for next time.
     Last canning project of the day was Strawberry Lemonade.  This is where you  take what is in the jar and pour into a pitcher.  The mixture for a thick drink is 1:1 ratio, but can be watered down to taste! I have never used honey to can so this will be new for me.   Here is the recipe:

  • 4 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
    This recipe also called for the berries to be removed, but I left mine in.   Bring mixture to a boil and can.  Pretty easy.  I will open a jar soon and let you know how it tastes.

     While I did all this process I made a boxed angel food cake and 3 trays of enchiladas.  Of course Sunday was Cinco De Mayo, but I do not go out to celebrate instead we have a private meal!  Needless to say that I spent the entire afternoon in the kitchen.  And even though I had Waylon and all his excitement under my feet I enjoyed every minute of it!  

     I could not get my labels to work on my computer so of course I turned to my sister Nancy and she rescued me!  Waylon was so excited to label these and give them as presents.  I am beginning to wonder if I will have any left!  My next decision is whether to go back in a week or so or to just wait till Blackberry season?

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