Strawberry Picking Day
At least once every strawberry season you can be sure to find me in the strawberry patch collecting every perfectly ripe little red gem I come across. A freshly picked strawberry is so sublime and the optimal strawberry harvest is quite short which only seems to add to the enjoyment. Every year at the end of May and in early June I’m watching the weather and calling the farm to select the very best day for collecting our heaps of sweet, juicy strawberries.
“Why pick strawberries when you can buy them at the grocery?” If this is a question you’re asking, dear friend, you’re missing it!
First of all, this strawberry picking thing is tradition. It’s a simple, humble activity that fill the soul as much as it fills the belly. There is something so earthy and honest about crawling through the green strawberry patch, cradling the plants gently in our hands as we search for each perfect berry. We certainly eat nearly as many as we place into our baskets!
The other reason to pick your own strawberries is that you can claim the very best of the best berries. Freshly picked local berries are so much better than store bought! These sweeties are actually red all the way through. Yes, strawberries don’t have to be all white inside. Who knew?!
And Then Comes Strawberry Freezer Jam!
Of all the ways I like to enjoy our fresh strawberries, at the top of the list is homemade strawberry freezer jam. I don’t generally do canning. I’ve never even tried canning and it feels intimidating to me. But freezer jam? Now that I can handle!
Strawberry freezer jam is so easy to make and absolutely delicious. I really enjoyed this project with my five year old.
We are now nearing the end of the summer, but we still have plenty of strawberry freezer jam!
- 4 cups (1 quart) strawberries, cut in half and stems removed
- 4 cups sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 3/4 ounces powdered fruit pectin
- 1. In a large bowl, mash the strawberries with potato masher until slightly chunky to make 2 cups crushed strawberries. Add sugar then let stand at room temperature 10 minutes.
- 2. Mix the water and pectin in a medium saucepan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Pour the hot pectin mixture over strawberry mixture and stir for at least one minute until well combined.
- 3. Spoon the jam mixture into jars or freezer containers, leaving 1/2-inch of room at the top of each container. Wipe the rims of each container clean; seal. Let stand at room temperature about 24 hours or until set.
- 4. Store the jam in freezer up to 6 months or in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Thaw frozen jam and stir before serving.