Once again it looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen. The arrival of local strawberries has heralded the beginning of the canning season. This year I didn’t go pick my own strawberries – rather I had the Hubs buy a flat from work. At $19 and no extra labor or gas or time- I think it’s a deal that I’m lucky to have!
Last year I chronicled how to make jam here, check it out if you’re curious. This year is very different from last. I have found it infinitely harder to can while I’ve got the baby to take care of. I really wish I had a friend come over to play with G while I worked over the stove, but no one was free. I’m not getting mother of the year award – so I didn’t feel to bad about him playing on the kitchen floor while I worked.
I’m also making other things besides strawberry jam (this year’s jam will be made sugar free to keep the glycemic index reasonable). For 2012 I’m making dehydrated strawberries and strawberry fruit leather. I’m also roasting strawberries for popsicles and roasted strawberry poundcake. And just like last year, I’m freezing some for smoothies.
It’s hard to believe I started pulling out my equipment at 11 am today and didn’t finish with the active work until 7:30 pm. Can you say take-out? My dehydrator is running and will continue overnight and there are strawberries in my oven and my freezer. I’m still going to have to package some of this up before I go to bed tonight. All this is totally worth it though – in my opinion. I can’t wait to serve little G some toast with strawberry jam this winter – he’s going to love it!
Speaking of feeding the boy. I assembled his highchair today! He ate pears at the table today, instead of on top of it. We were using his Bumbo seat or our lap to hold him to eat before today. He seems pleased to sit at the table in his Stokke Tripp Trapp chair. I know I’ve said that we are going to do Baby Led Weaning, and we still are, but I haven’t been able to stop myself from making some pear puree for him to try. He’s also tried grits, avocado and rice cereal. The good news is that he really seems to like it, all of it, and hungrily opens his mouth for more food when we’re feeding him. I will start giving him the soft fingers of food at the six month mark. Truly, it’s hard to believe that he’ll be five months old on Tuesday!
And the final results!
6 half pints of low sugar strawberry jam, one whole wheat roasted strawberry poundcake, two mini gluten free roasted strawberry poundcakes, two strawberry fruit leathers, one pint of dried strawberry chips, one quart of frozen strawberries, one cup of roasted strawberries for popsicles and some remaining fresh berries for slicing and eating.
The poundcake turned out great! The Hubs was excited about the gluten free version for himself. I was pleased with how well it came out. The regular one was excellent too, it had a deeper color due to the whole wheat flour I used, but tasted great. The addition of roasted strawberries gave it a tangy, fruitiness and a little extra moistness. I will definitely be making this recipe again. I’m really glad I wrote down the changes I made so that I can replicate it.
The dehrydrated berries and the fruit leather are neat. The flavor is concentrated when the moisture evaporates out. Both are tangy and very berry flavored. The strawberry chips will be great for oatmeal. The fruit leather is a fun snack and will probably be gone in another day!
Well strawberries….see you next year!