Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Canning Strawberries

In an attempt to move away from preserving fruit only in the form of jam, I've been buying and juicing lemons to make strawberry lemonade concentrate.

Par for the course, the yield was lower than predicted in the book (5 pints and 1 1/2 pint instead of 6 pints).  My stick (immersion) blender that was such a labor saver in making the tomato sauce saved me more dishes again. Ah, I am really glad I have it!  I like that the bulk of the seeds have migrated to the top, as that should make them easy to skim off when I'm ready to reconstitute it.  We have a few delicious possibilities for these jars: use for freezer pops, cold juice in the summer, or mixed with ginger ale or tonic water for a more exciting drink.

Then, because I was going to be heating the canner anyway, I decided to make batch of strawberry vanilla jam.  Next year, I'll try the strawberry balsamic jam, and the next year, I'll try lemony strawberry jam.  It's easy to buy plain jam in the store, so I might as well use my time to make more creative jams.  8 pints (the suggested yield) of delicious jam are now waiting eating and gifting this winter!

All of the strawberries were picked/purchased in the spring, cut up in the appropriate measure for the recipe, and frozen.  Except for the little excitement of a river of thawing strawberry juice on the kitchen floor this morning, freezing the strawberries pre-measured was a great time saver today.  Probably not next year, but the year after we hope to have a large enough strawberry bed to provide our own berries!

Still on the docket for canning, I'll make blueberry jam and blueberry lime jam.  Just not today, or tomorrow either!

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

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