So we went back. They were that good. We decided we wanted a few more to freeze, and took some requests from some friends. We told them if they paid for the berries we’d be more than happy to pick them. One of my really good friends sent her teenage boy along to help – which was wonderful because I took Jacob and the baby this time. He (Jacob, not the teenager, heh) spent most of the time we were there running around being silly. But he did pick a few berries with me.
Towards the end of our picking mania he had his own bucket. He would race to the edge of the field pick a berry or two and then run back by the car and eat it, then he would race back. It was really fun to watch him run back and forth – the red berry smudges on his face gave him away. We also caught him red handed at it since the berry juice stained his hands.
So, we ended up picking another 4 gallons of berries – two for friends and two for our freezer. I washed and destemmed them yesterday, then I spread them out on cookies sheets and stuck them in the freezer. Once they were mostly frozen I took them out, whack the cookie sheet a few times on the counter to loosen the berries and then double bagged them – now they won’t all clump together in the bag – when we need some we can just grab a handful or two.
I am officially finished with strawberry picking….but soon there will be raspberries, boysenberreis, marionberries, blueberries, cherries, peaches….. ok – maybe not all of those, but if the price is right you might end up with pictures of us picking at least one or two other things. 🙂
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.
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!
It might have been a bit slow going at first too – seeing as I was the one snapping all the photos…
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!”
Once my bucket was full I was off to help fill a kid’s 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).
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.
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. 🙂