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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

It's Strawberry Season!

It's strawberry season for my June bearers. Aside of the herbs, rhubarb and a couple of rogue red lettuce plants, the strawberries will be my final harvest for this garden. As the moving date draws closer I'm saddened at leaving my beloved garden behind but the anticipation of discovering the new gardens as well as creating a new vegetable garden is building.

Garden Fresh Strawberries

My current stawberry patch is a 4' x 8' raised bed and stuffed full of strawberry plants. The strawberries are June bearers but I don't recall the variety. They are very proliferic so I will be taking a few of these plants to start a new strawberry patch at our new house. These plants obviously do not understand the concept of order in the garden but their bright juicy berries smile impishly. They spill over the sides of the bed and root themselves along the paths. They are in cahoots with the other plants that have not read the book on square foot gardening!

When strawberries are in season my number one favourite way to enjoy them is fresh picked and still kissed by the sun. There are ways to preserve that taste for the rest of the year. The most common way is strawberry jam. Jam can be either canned or freezer but I prefer canned. However, strawberry vinegar and drying strawberries also work well along with freezing strawberries (not pictured).

Strawberry Jam

2 quarts strawberries
1 pk powdered pectin
1/4 c lemon juice
7 c sugar

Hull and wash the berries then crush. Combine with pectin and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim foam. Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two piece lids. Process 10 minutes in boiling water canner.
Yield 8 half-pints

Strawberry Vinegar
2 c strawberries
4 c white wine vinegar

Crush the berries. Place into a mason jar. Pour the vinegar over and let sit at least 3 weeks. Strain before using.

Drying Strawberries
- ideal for topping cereal or ice cream

Wash and hull the berries. Slice to about 1/4- inch slices. Pretreat if desired. Dry at 130ยบ until pliable.


4 food lovers commented:

Rache said...

I like them simple, with caster sugar :) I've had strawberries as a pudding a couple of days last week, very nice and totally refreshing! I hope I can grow my own one day. I'm growing blackberries at the moment.

Political Realm said...

I've found myself buying strawberries more than ever this spring. Just so delicious!

Garden Gnome said...

Rache, strawberry pudding sounds like a plan. Strawberries are so easy to grow and they spred too so you get more each year. I'm getting about 2 quarts a day from the patch so will really miss that next year. Hopefully they do as well in the new garden.

Garden Gnome said...

PR, you can never go wrong with strawberries!