I was so excited for opening weekend of strawberry picking. There is a little town close to us that had a Strawberry Festival early in May and one of the "host farms" opened the fields the day before the festival so we wanted to be there to get the best pick. Here are my little pickers:
Melissa and Declan joined us on our adventure and at this point he was more excited about the airplanes overhead than he was about the strawberries.
While the girls and I picked, Greyson hung out on a picnic blanket nearby. It was a bit chillier than I anticipated so I had to put him in his big sisters shirt because it's all I had (poor boy ;).
Proud little pickers:
I've been strawberry picking before but these were the prettiest plants and most beautiful berries I've EVER seen: can you say YUMMO!
After we picked berries we headed back to the PeachStand to have our picnic lunches and enjoy some of their home made strawberry ice cream.
Declan took his ice cream "to the face" as my sister says. He loved it.
We picked about 24 lbs of berries for our family and I know that probably sounds crazy, but they were $2/lb which is way cheaper than you can purchase them at the grocery AND they were in season, fresh and delicious. After getting home the "putting up" process was in full swing. Here's a pic of my little man patiently playing nearby. I call this his Kermit face I think his lower lip massages his bottom gums - so cute.I froze whole berries and diced berries in quart freezer bags, but I also attempted (for the first time) canning Jam. I'm happy to report on this side that although it made a huge mess, it was way easier than I anticipated. Exhibit A - MESSY!
To help in this new endeavor, I used a combination of this ancient cookbook that I picked up at an antique store years ago and The Pioneer Woman's cookbook. .
Here is the actual recipe I used - I was trying to do one that used little to no sugar.
Mid-process: doesn't that look delish?!
I decided (after reading lots of "how to's" on canning jam) that this type of canning pot (Wilton pot purchased at Walmart) was necessary because I needed this rack to make the processing/sealing easier and more efficient. *So glad I bought it.
You live and learn and do better next time - this happened and taught me a little how to not do this lesson. Oops.I purchased some fabric an some tags and I thought these turned out so super sweet.
I saw this recipe without pectin or sugar a few days after I completed the Jam making process - I'd love to try it next time.
~Fresh, Fun & Yum~