Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Pretending to Be Domestic

When we were young during summer vacations, our mom would trek us out to the local farmer's unplowed hay fields where we would squat for hours and pick wild strawberries. Back at home, we would cap those tiny berries. Sometimes the berries were so small that after they were capped, there was nothing left.

My mom would mash the strawberries by hand and add in Certo, lemon juice, and sugar. She would ladle out the mix into old butter bowls to put into the freezer.

Aaaahhh....those were the days. That jam in January was the best.

Who has the time to pick wild strawberries?

When your grocery store or farmer's market has strawberries on the cheap, bring them home, wash them up, and remove the big caps.

Buy these little lovely packages made by Ball. They also make nice little freezer containers if you haven't saved up every empty butter bowl.

Lay out everything you need. I lay out my berries, my mixing bowl, my blender, a ladle, a funnel, and the washed freezer containers. This makes it easier when you are making jam. I also lay down a towel so that the mess is not so bad.

Get out your blender that belonged to your Grandmother. She bought it in the 70's. It is a lovely shade of avocado green. It still works perfectly until I try to pulverize my berries. Then, pull out your food processor and transfer the half-mashed berries to it. I'm so glad I laid down that towel.

After you smash the berries, mix the packages with sugar. Use the lovely funnel that Ball also makes that fits perfectly in your freezer containers. Realize that even though Ball said that the jam will fit perfectly in the five freezer containers, you have extra jam. Scrounge through the cabinet to find more containers. Consider briefly using an old butter bowl your mom sent home leftovers in. Scrounge around more when you realize that the lids don't fit on your containers.

Proudly display your finished products in your kitchen. Then, spend the rest of the morning reading through your favorite blogs. Or getting a pedicure. Or taking a nap. Whatever it is that you like to do. When your husband comes home or your mother-in-law drops by, act worn out and tired and point to your display. They will be impressed with how productive your day was. Fail to mention that even with the blender mess and the search for more bowls that it only took you a half an hour.
Store this your freezer for deep winter or give to your neighbors to impress them with your domesticity.


Julie said...

That looks super! I remember my mom getting me up before the crack of anything to do that very same thing. I wondered why we couldn't go later, if the stawberries wouldn't still be there :)


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