Two of my lady friends and our seven children hit Clear Brook Farm yesterday to pick (organically raised) strawberries. Apparently we picked them all because they had to close down the PYO today. My haul was 11 pounds of berries. We have a great little patch of our own strawberries growing in our garden but they rarely make it into the house. The kids just sit and eat them on the spot. This year I wanted to put up enough jam to meet our needs for the year so picking at Clear Brook was just the right choice.
11 pounds of berries yielded 18 half pints of strawberry jam and one quart freezer bag of whole berries. Yum, yum, yum. I used Pomona's Universal Pectin and followed their 'low sugar cooked recipe' for strawberry jam. I made two separate batches, both doubled. For the first batch I used honey as the sweetener and for the second I used organic cane sugar and added a whole vanilla bean, halved, while the berries were at boil. Oh my, my. It's heavenly.
It feels so god to have the canner out and fired up again. What a joy it is to hear the 'ping' of a well sealed jar. I just love canning. I'm sure that I'll visit Clear Brook again for more berries so that I can put up a few more pints and then have some set aside for gifting.
Photo Credit for the sweet and treasured picture of Vaughn goes to my friend Alexa.