Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Strawberry time

Yes, it's true.  I never met a berry I didn't like.  Here on the East coast, we're on the cusp of strawberry harvest time.  Some of the local fields are all ready setting up their roadside stands and spreading out box upon box of these luchious morsels. 
We have many varieties, both cultivated and wild, growing at My Happy Acres.  The Virginia variety is the most common.  This small wild berry has a delicate flavor and is a welcome addition to salads and fresh fruit dishes where a spark of color helps brighten things up. 

Want to make something that is as easy as it is delicious?  Try some strawberry freezer jam:
 You will need: Equipment: a large & a small bowl, a potato masher, refrigerator safe covered containers to store the jam in.  Ingredients: Strawberries (depending on size, about a quart), granulated sugar, Instant pectin.
  • Using a potato masher, squish up enough berries in the large bowl to make 1 2/3 cups of prepared fruit (remember: no big lumps.  You want the flavor going into the spread not stay in the fruit).
  • In the smaller bowl, blend together 2/3 cup  sugar (or Splenda for a sugar free alternative) and 2 tablespoons of Instant pectin.  Please note: Instant Pectin and traditional pectin are not the same.  Instant pectin is intended for no cook jams and will give much better results.  
  • Gradually add the sugar mix to the fruit, stirring gently to combine and dissolve into the fruit.  Spoon into containers and let stand about 30 minutes.  
  • Since this is not cooked, place the unused portion into the refrigerator.  It will keep for about a week, provided that the family hasn't yummed it up by then!

This is now ready to serve on biscuits or spooned over ice cream.  Delicious!!!

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