Strawberrylicious!

We’ve been having a lot of fun at the start of this great summer.  The kids’ last day of school was last Thursday and we have been having a ton of fun ever since. I will write about all we’ve done in another post.  For today I need to tell a tale of strawberries.

Every year I track down some berries and churcn out strawberry freezer jam – the yummiest stuff in the world. 🙂 This year strawberry prices were high and after talking with some friends about u-pick farms in the area I decided that my girls and I would go on a berry picking adventure.  The farm I chose was in a nearby town and had just opened for strawberry season. You could pick a heaping 1 gallon bucket for $6.  So, I arranged a sitter for the two boys and the girls and I through a giant container in the car and took off.  Everyone was excited when we saw the berry field and were hopping out before I even had the car shut off.

 Strawberry Field

We each grabbed a bucket from off the table and raced into the field. The picking was a bit slow at first as each kid showed off how big and red their berries were – in the midst of many oooohs and ahhhs and giggles. It was a hoot!

Picking Berries

It might have been a bit slow going at first too – seeing as I was the one snapping all the photos…

Strawberry

But soon the kids settled into a rythm and the plunk, plunk of berries accompanied their giggles and smiles. Occasionally we could get the excalamation, “Wow! Look at how big this one is!”

Emmy Picking

Lizard Picking

Dorothy Picking

Once my bucket was full I was off to help fill a kid’s bucket.

One Bucket

We filled all four bucket till the were heaped and overflowing with berries. I had a huge yellow tub that we emptied our buckets into – I was amazed at how many berries there were. Aproximately 28 pounds of strawberries, which cost us only $24 = lots of yummy jam (and hard work too).

Look at all those berries!

We got the berries home and I picked up some pectin and set to work making jam. I filled the sink with water and began dumping berries in and detopping them around 1:30. I smashed, mixed, and poured as batch after batch of strawberry jam I turned out. In the end I used 8 boxes of pectin -had a mountain of strawberry jam, and a huge bowl of straberries left over for devouring – and possibly freezing. I was finally finished at 6:30, with feet so sore I could hardly stand – I didn’t think about grabbing a stool and sitting on it at the sink to wash and detop berries.

Strawberry Jam - Mmmmm

Thanks to a loving hubby though who took care of kids for the evening so I could rest my feet. He even served the strawberry shortcake after dinner – and boy was it GOOD! Here is the delicious result of all those berries. Aproximately 28+ (there is probably closer to 36 or so – but the markings on the containers are hard to read now that they are full) pints of strawberry jam!!! And lots of berries to eat!

We have our year supply of jam – and with the way my kids go through peanut butter and jelly sandwhiches – we’ll need it. 🙂

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11 Comments

Filed under Children, Dot, Em, Lizy, Nature, Photography

11 responses to “Strawberrylicious!

  1. I love your pictures! Those strawberries in the bucket look like I could just grab a handful off of my screen. And the pictures of the girls picking is so cute. I’m glad you had such a successful, strawberrylicious day and get to enjoy the wonderful results for the next year. This was my first year making freezer jam, and oh boy, it really is yummy, isn’t it? Definitely worth the work!

  2. Strawberry jam – YUM!!!! How do you make it? Does it actually require skill, because I have none, or do I stand a chance?

  3. Philosophical Karen

    Sending waves of envy your way, both for having lots of homemade strawberry jam AND for having all that help picking the strawberries in the first place. 😀

  4. Kathy – My mother-in-law first introduced me to strawberry jam when Paul and I were married – I was sold on it ever since. I loved your pics too – and thanks for inspiring me to go pick the berries with the girls! 🙂

    Krystal – It is pretty easy – if you can mash berries and measure acurately than you won’t have a problem at all. For freezer jam you need berries, lemon juice, light corn syrup, sugar, and pectin. (MCP Pectin is the kind I like and have used forever) The recipe for straberry jam and other kinds too is in the box – be sure you get the right recipe – the one for freezer jam, because the others are for cooked jam or jelly. I usually highlight the recipe I am using at the time so I can find it easy and don’t accidently read on of the other recipes on the paper.

    Karen – I’d send you some if it was easily transportable – jam that is, not the help 😀

  5. Mmm you are making me drool.

  6. How fun!! That will be an awesome memory for the girls! The jam looks yummy!!

  7. MMMMmmmmmm…. that brings back some fond memories. I was just saying the other day that I need to do some of those kind of things with Evan – things I remember doing as a child – take time out and smell the strawberries. I’m hungry.

  8. How fun! We did that today too, but our strawberries weren’t half as big as those ones!! They were super yummy though! And I can’t believe you got that many for so cheap! Out here it’s more expensive to pick them than to buy them from the store. But, man, they taste SO yummy fresh picked! 🙂

  9. OMGoodness those look SOOOOOOOOOOO good!!!! I wonder if there’s somewhere around here that we could go and pick our own strawberries. That would be a fun family activity. How yummy that you make your own jam ~ someday you might need to teach me 🙂

  10. Love your pictures! Looks like a lot of fun with your girls … and your jam looks delicious!!!

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