Monday, June 26, 2006

Strawberry Redux

The strawberry fields are still plentiful and juicy. I was very happy to see that when we headed to the field this morning. In my mind I had visions of the kids and I managing to pick about 20 pounds of strawberries- visions of jamming dancing in my head. Zander managed to pick about 3 berries before delcaring that he wanted to go sit in the van. Abigail managed to pick about 2 quarts before joining her brother. Hmm. 20 pounds of strawberries would be about 4 ice cream pails of berries. That would be a lot of berries to pick by myself. So I took Abigail's meager offerings, and while the kids played, I filled 2 pails with berries. I decided that was all I was going to get today. But then when I went to transfer the berries into boxes and pay, I found the pre-picked berries and added another 5 pounds, I just had to pay a little more for the ready picked ones. Now I'm actually contemplating running out later this week and seeing what they have for ready-picked berries. :-)

I started with a jam idea that has been on my brain for awhile. I wanted to create a Strawberry-Black Pepper Jam. Recently I have seen several recipes that combine strawberries and black pepper- why not in a jam? The only jam recipe I could find included mint leaves, and not being a mint fan, I let that recipe pass by. Instead I used my recipe for Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade, eliminating the lemon peel. I think it worked. The small taste i left out for myself was pretty good, but I'm hoping that as the jam sits, the pepper flavor infuses a little more. Next I made another batch of Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade. I made this two weeks ago, and I LOVE it so much, I decided I needed to make another batch and double the lemon peel. I am very glad I did.

And finally, I made 2 batches of plain old Strawberry Jam- using the recipe in the box of Sure-Jel. The kids love strawberry jam, and I want to be able to give some away, so many jars of fam are in order. All told, I have 9 quarts of Strawberry Jam, 4 quarts of Strawberry-Lemon Marmalade, and 9 pints of Strawberry-Black Pepper Preserves. Not too bad for a day of jamming.

So tonight I needed to come up with a strawberry themed dinner for my strawberry crazy kids. I had seen a post on one of my foodie friends blogs for Strawberry Pancakes recently, but darned if I can't remember who that was. So off to Recipezaar where I found a recipe that fit the bill. The pancakes were incredible! They really were very good- especially topped with a little sweetened whipped cream. They fluffed up beautifully. I did have hesitations about cooking the berries in the pancakes instead of just topping it with them, but they really turned out great. An instant hit, and will go into the tried and true files. Clicking on Strawberry Buttermilk Pancakes will take you to the recipe on Recipezaar.

Well, that's it for tonight. I have a new little project in the works, and I thought I'd take some time to work on that tonight. I also have about 2 quarts of berries yet to do something with. I suspect they will simply get sliced and dugared and placed in the freezer. If anyone would like any of my jam recipes, just let me know, and I will get them up in the Recipe Trove.


AK said...

You made out with the pancakes but another time, try when you can't remember who posted exactly what ... works every time esp if it's been in the past couple of weeks. Here's a challenge: a whole meal, every course with strawberries. I did it for a friend and two kids last year: a grand adventure!

Joe said...

I just love to read about your strawberry adventures!

Erika said...

Oooh! Alanna, that strawberry meal sounds like a challenge to me. I may have to give that a whirl...we'll see how the week plays out. :-)

Thanks Joe! I may have more adventures yet this week. I'm thinking I need to make at least one more run to the strawberry patch before the season is over.