May 26, 2010
We be jammin'!
I even played a little Bob Marley while I was jammin'! Today was another berry day. This weekend is the big Pungo Strawberry Festival, which is my signal to get all this stuff done prior to the crowds and while we still "get our pick" of the available berries! Pungo is known for it's strawberries, among other berries and come Friday there won't be a parking spot within a mile of the event. So armed with a child helper we headed out to the fields one last time to finish up our berry preserving.
Today's haul of about 16 quarts, or 12-13 lbs. Added to
our 15 lbs from a couple of weeks ago brings our strawberry total this year to almost 30 lbs!! See why I leave this crop to the local farmers?
Dropped Finn off at preschool and rushed home to begin, I have 2 hrs, 15 mins of alone time!
First was another batch of freezer jam to add to my stash. I officially have enough jam for the next 12 months, if you think the amount of strawberries we pick seems excessive, remember that I have 2 boys in school - that equals alot of PB&J!
Next up was smashed berries for fruit leather. I will be making this for the next few days, some in the oven and some in the dehydrator depending on which isn't full at the time. I smashed them all at the same time and just store them in the fridge with a little lemon juice for freshness, and ladle it out on sheets for each sucessive batch so I only make one mess. I have no sugar in my fruit, but I think I may add a little local honey to one batch per Finn's request.
One large batch of dehydrated sliced strawberries. These are great snacks and I think I may put some in Kate's Homemade Granola Recipe to send out to the ship! Once dehydrated, they store all year in the freezer, although they don't last that long unless I hide them!
Net result: 14 jars freezer jam, 5 trays dried sliced berries, 5 trays fruit leather, and a bunch left for fresh eatin'!
I finished processing them all in 2 hrs and 5 minutes... just in enough time to pick strawberry bits off of my face before going back to preschool for pickup, LOL! (Yes, I'm that mom who peels in the parking lot with farmers overalls and flip flops covered in bits of dirt and sweat!) This may be embarassing for the kids in a few years, but it's not a problem yet!
Funny I'm not sick of them yet... I am already thinking maybe I should get just one more load of berries....
At least this weekend I can enjoy the Strawberry Festival without having to worry about my berries going bad in the parked car!
Sweet Strawberry Dreams to those of you who don't have them yet... your time is coming, soon!