Strawberries are the ultimate berry – sweet, easy to pick, and useful in tons of desserts. Healthy too!
The day was perfect, with a nice breeze, the temps below 80 degrees, and we started at a farm about a half hour drive early in the morning. The plants were laden with the juicy berries, and the farm provided us with wide shallow boxes so that the berries wouldn’t crush each other, and we waded in and started to pick.
One hour later, we hauled all the berries for a weigh in and were amazed at the results – over 71 pounds at 1.60 a pound. Seventy one pounds of berries is an impressive sight. Since a quart of berries weighs around 1.5 pounds, that adds up to almost 50 quarts of berries at the grocery store.
After cleaning and capping the berries, we followed the Certo Pectin recipe to make 8 pints of jam at a time. To add our own touch, we used a suggestion that one of the ladies had done before-adding 4 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to each batch. It added just the right touch of pizzazz to amp up the taste. We cooked up two batches at a time on the stove top, poured it into jars, and popped them into a canner outside on a propane portable burner. We formed a production line – washing, capping, crushing, cooking, and canning, and did I mention eating and drinking?
We froze some of the berries in baggies as there was no way that we could make jam of them all. The rest was made into other concoctions.
At the end of the day, we each went home with 7 pints of strawberry jam, 3 bulging baggies of fresh berries for freezing, and a fresh appreciation for team work!