We got up early Saturday morning and headed to Bowman Orchards to pick strawberries. We just managed to beat the rain, just getting doused on the ride back from the field to pay, loaded down with almost 20 lbs of bright red, juicy strawberries.
In the past we’ve stuck with one of the big boxes and a couple of quart containers. I got greedy this year and we got another big box and filled that one. The only real downside to such a mountain of peak ripe berries is, of course, that you have to deal with them almost immediately if you don’t just want a puddle of red mush. The cool weather yesterday helped, but even so I was already dealing with soft spots by the end of my marathon prep session yesterday. I pulled out my squishy comfort mat to stand on and set to work. That 20 lbs became:
- 1 loaf of strawberry quick bread
- recipe from my King Arthur Flour book, also on their site, with no nuts or rhubarb
- 3 ziplocks filled with crushed berries proportioned for batches of homemade strawberry ice cream
- recipe from the book that came with the Cuisinart ice cream machine, actually…quite good
- 1 batch of straight up strawberry jam
- reduced sugar recipe from the Sure Jell box, classic, tasty, ready for many sandwiches and much toast
- 1 batch of strawberry jam with vanilla sweetened with honey
- recipe from Marisa of Food In Jars, this was a reach for me, I’ve not done a honey-sweetened jam before and I’ve never used Pomona’s Universal Pectin before. (I guess those go hand in hand.) It seems to have set up properly, so I’m happy with that. The flavor is throwing me, it looks like ‘normal’ jam, but tastes so strongly of the honey. Maybe it’s my aging vanilla beans, but I’m not getting much vanilla from the bits I’ve tasted. Not sure it needs it, though, so it’s OK.
- 1 quart of so left fresh in the fridge for immediate use
- 2 pints or so diced and frozen to be used to top cereal, ice cream, or pound cake later
- about a gallon of frozen berries for smoothies
- 1 batch of crushed berries to become strawberry popsicles when the weather warms up
I think that’s about it.