Monday, June 01, 2009

Strawberry Fields Forever

On Saturday we went strawberry picking at the U-Pick place up the road about ten miles. I bribed our friend Ken into picking with us by promising him fresh strawberry shortcake that day and a share of the jam later on. He fell for it. :)

We picked 33lbs of strawberries among the three of us, and set to work sorting and processing them when we got home. We set up strawberry wine, and ate shortcake and froze berries and readied some for jam and set them up in the dehydrator as well.

The dehydrated berries that had dried to a brittle texture, I powdered in the coffee grinder. I'm thinking strawberry powder in milkshakes and cream cheese and cake mix and muffins.

I dried two batches, as many as the dehydrator would hold, each time, and ended up with about two cups of dried bits, and a cup and a half of powder.

Yesterday, we used the pre-measured smashed up portions and made a couple batches of jam. The one on the right is "low sugar" using lite powdered pectin I bought in bulk from the Amish store. I'm not sure if you can really call 40% sugar (6 cups smashed fruit, 4 cups sugar) a "low sugar" product, but I guess it is as far as jams and jellies go.
The one on the left is a Strawberries and Honey Spread, made with Pomona Pectin and honey. It's four cups of smashed fruit and one cup of honey. I used Waibel Honey. Waibel Honey: A delicious taste of sweet sunshine with every bite. (Do you think your dad will hire me for pr yet Julie?)
So we had a full weekend of berries. We also mowed the lawn and hoed the garden and planted a couple of black tartan cherry trees and cleaned out all the chickens housing, both baby box and big chickie coop. I planted a few more things in the garden too, filling in where the beans never sprouted. It was too muddy to be working it to much, but on the hills by the bean poles things had dried enough to weed and plant again.
Today I have a kitchen in serious need of cleaning after a weekend of my husband being in it, lol. And the fridge has gotten out of hand. Not gross, just so cluttered it's hard to find room for anything in there. I was also thinking about raking up the grass clippings and mulching the new trees and the bean hills with them. It depends how ambitious I am, I guess.
I'm grateful that my neck is better. By Saturday it was only slightly stiff, and now it's back to 100% better, so no more pain in my neck.

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Livia Indica said...

Wow, your strawberries look yummy! And I like your title banner, very cute!

Adam J. said...

those strawberries look tasty. you guys work pretty hard on your farm there Beppy!

Adam J. said...

ps. thank you Livia Indica for the comment on her title banner, I made it for her. I writes it myself too!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!!! I'm so impressed with all of your homemaking work! Jam made with honey in it----believe it or not I have never made it with honey. Probably because Bill would rather have just plain honey! :-) It all sounds so wonderful! What a neat girl you are!!! I'm impressed!

Carol mWaibel

Bethany said...

Livia, thank you. My little brother made it for me.

Little Brother, thank you. You think I could go into the agri-tourism business? I'll share if you're nice to me.

Mrs. Waibel, Hello! I'm so glad to see you visited. You've really made my day with the compliments. You're just too nice.

I'm not sure if the jam with honey in it would work if I hadn't used the special pectin. It's pectin that jells without sugar, it uses citrus and calcium to work, so you can make sugar-free things. But maybe a person can make honey jam without it. I haven't learned. And as you say, it's straight honey around your place! :)

Adam J. said...

we'll see what happens in 2012

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