Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Preserving Summers Bounty

Here we are again ... its summer time.  Thou for many of us Pacific Northwesters, the calendar may say its "summer", but it sure hasn't felt like it here. Yes, we have had a few, and I mean very few, days of above 75 degrees, it just isn't quite summer feelin yet to me and many of us. 

A few weeks ago, in yet more pouring down rain, I headed with my sister and some friends and all our kiddos to a local berry farm for some fresh off the vine strawberries.  The first farm ( I wont mention names) was a no go...pathetically small, nearly rotten berries.  The second farm was a delight for the this case I'll mention the name...Beringer Farm! The farm is not far from our home which makes it even better.

Due to the weather, I did not take my camera out in the fields with me for obvious reasons (have I mentioned the downpour?) But I will tell you, there was a healthy dose of laughing, both from us adults and that of the kids, and there was ALOT of mud!!  We had mud stuck on us in places I didn't even know mud could stick.  After taking our pick of the crops, we headed home covered in head to toe in mud and a whopper load of strawberries.  Upon getting home, we stripped down on the deck (thank God we live in the country...aka thank goodness for no neighbors !) With the heap of beyond dirty clothes in a big pile left on the deck, we ourselves cleaned up and then started the process of cleaning the berries and getting them ready for jam.

                                                  Our nearly 8 pounds of fresh goodness

                                            Food can be art sometimes, don't you think ?

I have always wanted to learn how to make jam.  Being able to do that with my daughter was icing on the cake if you will.  From picking our own bounty, to coming home to our beautiful, flower soaked in summer home, to prepping the berries and finally our final product, it was a great experiance all around.  Anyone who knows me, knows I truely cherish my at home time.  Learning this new way of preserving natures summer sweetness made the day something I wont soon forgot.

"Can I eat just onnnneeeee more mom?"

All cleaned and ready to fill !

During the process of making our jam, we had some laughs of course!  What's a day in the life of our household without some serious laughs right ? Let's see, it started with Kayla deciding to try and "out stuff" her mouth with berries...Yup, she won.  I started laughing at the way she looked, I couldn't hold mine in my mouth...shocking I know.

In the end, it was well worth all the effort, because we ended up with some really good jam.  Sweet, gooey, goodness, that during the fall and winter is gonna taste like like it's summer all over again!!

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