Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Berry Sweet

Yesterday we woke to cool temps (53 degrees!) and blue skies so I quickly got the diaper bag packed and off we went to Apple Jack's Orchard. I've heard nothing but good things about Apple Jack's so I was excited to check it out. We weren't the only ones who thought it would be a good day to pick strawberries because when we got there at 8:45 there were already 20 other cars in the lot.

I've never picked strawberries before so we got the scoop from the nice people who work there and off we went. Sam was a champion picker, Julia did really well too, and Elsa helped by being our taste tester.

Eventually I had to stop picking and sit with Elsa while the other two picked. I offered to pick while they sat with Elsa but they were both very determined to pick as many as they could.  All their hard work paid off because we came home with over 10 pounds of strawberries.

We enjoyed some on ice cream and then the rest were set aside for making jam. I found a no pectin recipe online and got to work. We had just the right amount for a double batch.

I doubled the recipe from the beginning so I didn't have to stand over the stove any longer than necessary. It can take hours and hours if you don't have the right size pot for large batches. Don't get me still took a long time.  But in the end it was worth it. We have 24 jars of the best tasting strawberry jelly in our pantry and a few left over to make strawberry syrup for Father's Day breakfast. ('s a secret!)

Elsa was so content to sit and read books in the kitchen with me while I worked. It was berry sweet!

Do you pick strawberries every summer? Do you have a favorite strawberry recipe you'd like to share?  I hope to get back to pick at least another 10 pounds soon! (If you happen to be local check their website and call ahead - I noticed when I was writing this post tonight that they are going to close tomorrow to let more berries ripen.)

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