Another strawberry post!! Yes, we picked many berries and did several things with them. We actually picked another two gallons this past weekend and made strawberry ice cream too. This post has a bonus though, my first giveaway.
As you may recall I had a birthday recently. I received two copies of the same cookbook so ya’ll can benefit from my extra copy. The book is titled Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round and is by Marisa McClellan. Let me just say I have been drooling over my copy of the book!
I am somewhat new to canning, having begun just a few years ago. While I am not a huge fan of the process, especially the whole heating the house during a hot and humid summer, you just cannot beat the end result.
Preserving food allows you to enjoy your own garden produce, or farmer’s market produce, year round. There are so many things to make, things I hadn’t even thought of until I got this cookbook. Some of the things I am looking forward to trying out are Pear Ginger Jam (our pear tree overflows later this summer), Orange Vanilla Curd, Spicy Tomato Chutney, Spicy Honey Mustard, Pickled Brussels Sprouts and Lemony Pickled Cauliflower. There are many others, but I had to limit myself here!!
There are so many things to make. Items you just can’t find in grocery stores, not even the fanciest gourmet shops. I’m getting hungry just writing about it again!
The first recipe I tried from this book had to be using strawberries of course! I made the Strawberry Syrup, page 175. It is basically a strawberry simple syrup. You cook the strawberries in water until they release all their juices and flavors. Then discard the fruit, add sugar to the liquid and cook until dissolved. The recipe actually has you preserve it in a water bath, I didn’t bother since a simple syrup will keep in the fridge for months…and in this house it won’t last long at all!
We have already enjoyed the syrup many ways. The kids like it as a kiddie cocktail substitute. So much better than all the additives in grenadine! They had it with bubbly lemonade, so pretty much a homemade strawberry lemonade. Josh and I like it that way too, plus some vodka! It also makes a great strawberry margarita….Cinco de Mayo anyone?!
If you want to win this awesome cookbook it’s very simple. Leave a comment about your favorite thing to preserve, or if you haven’t dabbled in preserving yet something you would like to try. You have one week to enter, a winner will be picked randomly from the comments on May 12. Make sure you have an email address attached to your gravitar or check back next week for the winner.
Recipe adapted slightly from Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round by Marisa McClellan
4 c. fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped
2 c. sugar
Combine the strawberries and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer until the berries are soft, approximately 15 minutes.
Strain the berries and their juices through a fine sieve over a large bowl. Allow all the juices to fall through, being careful NOT to push the berries. Discard the solids (no need to toss though, they are still great in a smoothie with other fruit or in yogurt etc).
Place the liquid in a pot and add the sugar, bringing it to a boil so the sugar dissolves. Skim off any foam that may rise to the top. Pour into sterilized bottles and store in the fridge. It will keep for a couple months…assuming it will last that long.
Yields 4 cups