Garden Yum

I think if pinned down I’d say that strawberries are my favorite fruit. Apples would come in second but the sweet juicy strawberry would win. I love them over vanilla ice cream. Or cake – angel food, pound, or short.

This is the first time in 9 years that we’ve had our own strawberry patch to pick from and I’m loving it. We’ve frozen half a dozen bags of whole berries, made 9 pints of freezer jam, and eaten a whole lot besides. I’ve also had eggs to use up so I’ve been freezing angel food cakes alongside them and plan to freeze some poundcake this week, too.

If you don’t have a patch of your own, check out the Pick Your Own directory. Around here the place to go is Furleigh Farms near Clear Lake (2 miles east of I-35 on Hwy 122/old Hwy 18).

Freezer jam is the simplest thing to make. Save up the small-sized margarine containers to freeze it in. This is the recipe I use:

4 cups berries, caps removed
4 cups sugar
1 foil pouch liquid fruit pectin
2 T lemon juice

Crush berries. Combine berries and sugar. Let stand 10 minutes. Combine pectin and lemon juice. Add to berry mixture; stir for 3 minutes. Ladle at once into jars or freezer containers, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and label. Let stand at room temperature about 2 hours or till jam is set. Store up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator or 1 year in the freezer. Makes 4 half-pints.

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5 Responses to Garden Yum

  1. Genie says:

    Oh…wow…that sounds so easy, and delicious! Love the photo of the strawberries, too. I’m so jealous!:-) GenieThe Inadvertent Gardener

  2. Gin says:

    Good looking berries! As for the freezer jam, not only is it easy, it’s better than the cooked stuff. I do both, but definitely prefer the fresh strawberry taste of jam from the freezer. We had too much rain here, and it was too cool. Had just enough berries to eat on, but none to put up. :(

  3. Genie – thanks! I’m sure being a container plant connoisseur you already know this, but you can grow strawberries in pots :)Gin – We had some berries that were just plain strange looking and inedible. I’m writing it up to some kind of weather at the wrong time. Fortunately it wasn’t all of them!

  4. Love the photo of the berries all lined up. And my wife thought I was odd to do it that way! :) We just went strawberrying yesterday, picked, hulled, sorted, froze & jammed. I’ve never tried a freezer jam. I do it the cooked and canned way. Sometime I’ll try your technique.Cheers,-Walter

  5. Walter – symmetrical rows is what you get when a computer programmer freezes berries :)