Adventures in Strawberries

Picking strawberries in an annual tradition in our family. It’s one of my favorite things to do not only because it makes me feel like a farmer, but I just flat out love strawberries. There’s a u-pick farm near Austin that we go to every Spring. Well, “near” meaning an hour away in a lackluster town called Marble Falls. We travel to Sweet Berry Farm to pick strawberries first thing in the morning, then head over afterwards to Peete Mesquite, a really excellent hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint (Texas has a jillion of those).

Yes, the boys picked strawberries too. But they don’t like to stick near their mom. Especially when there are pet goats nearby.

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We aim to pick about 14 lbs of berries. I’m an avid jam-maker and this will make between 25-30 jars of jam. That’s enough to last us all year.

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The kids are put to good use. Ada’s especially good at hulling strawberries.

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It takes me about a million years to chop everything up and make the jam, but eventually I get these jewels all ready to be put up in the pantry. I don’t do freezer jam for a few reasons: it’s kind of watery and I don’t care for the texture; freezer space is at a premium in my house. I can’t waste the square footage on jam!; the preparedness person in me insists on something self-stable.

 

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These jars are made by a German company called Weck. They’re a little spendier than the ho-hum jars available at the grocery store but look how crazy cute they are! I’ve had these for about eight years and I’ve totally gotten my money’s worth out of them. I do a few Mason jars too, for giving away to friends/teachers. I’m not about to part with my Weck jars! You can get Weck jars from the company website here –which is the cheapest option. (I use the 1/5 litre Deco jars. If you buy Weck jars, they work a little differently than regular canning jars. You’ll need rubber gaskets instead of flat lids and and metal clips instead of screw-on rings.I happen to think Weck jars are superior to Ball or Kerr brands. And not just because they’re European!)

 

3 thoughts on “Adventures in Strawberries

  1. What I hate is how the minute I get the kazillion pounds of strawberries home, it’s a frantic race against time to get them hulled, cut, boiled, and canned – it seems they start going bad at an exponential rate as soon as I set those containers down on the counter.

    Those jars look tempting. Every year I have trouble finding the boxes of just flat lids in the store and I end up having to buy bands just to get the lids. I have a zillion bands now.

  2. I just checked to see whether we can go picking soon (usually, we’re out there the Friday of Memorial Day weekend); but the website says we won’t be seeing strawberries here until early June! That’s very late for us. What a weird spring…

  3. This post is getting me all excited for strawberry season around here- late June. I pick almost twenty pounds a year so I can make at least 50 pints of jam. If I make any less than that we end up running out. I make freezer jam though, because I like it sooooo much better (we’ve got an extra freezer in the garage to hold all our hunting meat, so I can use freezer space without much troubles).

    Love the jars! Too adorable. Maybe I’ll have to splurge and get some for myself. Do you think they’d do okay in the freezer?

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