The first time we went to the fields, the girls did not eat a single strawberry. They dutifully picked and picked and filled their little buckets. The second trip, they seemed to relax a little bit and it was more like 5 in the bucket, 1 in the mouth. This time, it was eat, eat, eat, nothing in the bucket!
After much encouragement and trying to get the girls to pick more berries and eat less, Hubby and I stepped up and filled the buckets ourselves. I think the awe of picking strawberries has worn off and they just want to fill their bellies instead.
We picked close to 15 pounds of berries this time, and with all the snacking they did in the field, I'm pretty sure it should have been closer to 20 pounds! We are going to try another batch of strawberry wine and make one more batch of jam and then depending on how much is left, freeze or make fruit leather with the rest.
I have a feeling we will probably make one more trip to the farm before the birthday party, so I can have some fresh strawberries for the dessert. I want to make fruit kabobs with chopped watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries and grapes. After eating fresh strawberries for the past 2 weeks, I will find it hard to buy strawberries at the store that were picked green and shipped all the way from California or Florida and tastes nothing like the sweet, juicy berries we are used to.
Here's the recipe for Strawberry Jam:
5 cups crushed strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 box powdered pectin ( I use Ball brand )
7 cups sugar
Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a 6 or 8 qt stainless steel pan. Gradually add the powdered pectin and bring to a boil. When boiling, add entire amount of sugar all at once and return to a boil. This takes about 10 minutes of stirring. When boiling, let it boil hard about one minute, constantly stirring. Remove from heat and carefully ladle into hot jars. Cap and place into hot water canner. Can for 10 minutes then remove and let cool. Makes about 5 pints.