Wednesday, May 22, 2013

strawberry fields forever

One of the biggest things I missed being in Japan was strawberries.  They are my favorite fruit, and the strawberries in Japan were always moldy and very expensive.  So when we got to America, we were excited for strawberry season.  Luckily, strawberry season was already upon us in Virginia.  The weather has been a bit odd in Virginia this season, so we were concerned about the picking conditions, however I think we choose the perfect morning.
We headed down the the beautiful countryside of Fredericksburg and arrived at a tiny little farm.  It was not nearly as big as the farm we were used to Connecticut, but it had a wonderful southern charm to it.  Along with some wonderful goodies in their country store.
We grabbed a basket that held 10 pounds of strawberries, and a smaller one to hold 5 pounds.  I don't think we actually picked 15 pounds, but we most likely picked 12 pounds of beautiful strawberries.  Not to mention all the ones we ate along the way!
My sister in law, Liza ready to pick some strawberries!

Beautiful strawberries


He ate more then he helped

picking while holding an infant was not easy

Zach's happy face

he wouldn't stop eating!


 After picking and buying some yummy farm fresh items (milk, pumpkin butter, local honey, and some wonderful vinaigrettes) we headed to the store to pick up some things to make preserves.  I've never done this before, but I was dying to try to make a healthier version.  Most jams and preserves are loaded with added sugars.  Turns out the pectin required for them works with sugar.  But after a bit of research, I learned that there is a pectin sold that doesn't require sugar.  Wonderful.  We headed to the nearest healthy grocery store and found it right away.
Making jam turned out to be quite easy, however I did make the mistake of following one recipe from the internet that came out as more of a sauce (which was still good!) and the other came out exactly how we wanted!  It was not fun making it, only because our AC was out and it was 90 degrees.  We also don't have all of our things still, so we were using small pots and pans!  It was worth the effort because our fresh made jam taste wonderful.
Mason jars and strawberries

ready to be "jammed"

Did you know a straw perfectly cores a strawberry?