June 14, 2009

strawberry city

Like you didn't see this coming?
We were up to our eyeballs in strawberries for about 10 days.

Probably picked about 12 quarts overall. Which isn't bad considering it's a 15 x 12 patch. And I left a lot - - A LOT for the birds because man, I just kind of got tired of picking them. Isn't that so lame? This had a lot to do with 1. the amount of rain we've had and the serious mud problems in our backyard and 2. with my serious lack of pathways and mulch.

When we bought the house there were no paths in the strawberry patch. Or maybe there had been and they'd just been eaten up by suckers. In the fall I tore out a bunch of plants to create our vegetable garden and then tore out some more to create some paths, but got nervous because I thought I was tearing out too much and we'd have like 1 bowl of strawberries. This year there will be no such anxiety!

When I was little I would spend a week visiting my Grandma Masil in Idaho and sometimes we'd be there around the time of the strawberries. I remember these neat little rows and these sweet little strawberries and all of it being very easy to harvest and I thought that was how this would be.

Then I grew the Amazon of strawberry patches.

Not that I'm complaining- although it sounds suspiciously like I am! - because we have eaten our fill of strawberries and we have a freezer full of jam and sauce - and did you know that a lime does not have the pectin content of a lemon and so if you are making jam and you only have a lime to serve for your pectin needs you will end up with sauce? Which goes nicely on ice cream?And will probably make a nice bit of fruit leather?

I do.

The other thing is that this year - only my third time of making strawberry jam probably- I added a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to the jam. It made a huge difference. My 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' cookbook recommended it. Nigella said the vinegar would bring out the 'strawberriness' of the strawberries. And indeed it did. The smell made me a little nervous at first, but once it cooked down to jam the whole house just smelled like strawberries. Which was lovely.
I think we'll probably have one more harvest before we mow over everything for the summer. I'm thinking if they're good sized berries we'll get some dry ice from the store and flash freeze them in the cooler before putting them in the deep freeze to be enjoyed in January when we need some summer.
Or maybe we'll just let Gus eat them because she has eaten her weight in strawberries this past week so a few more can't hurt, right? It's not like she can OD on Vitamin C, right?
I asked her last night if she was going to turn in to one big strawberry and she got highly indignant, as only a two year old can. No, she says, I'm Deyah. Good to know. I'd hate to have any confusion about that!


Jen said...

I'm so jealous of your Strawberries, wish we lived closer we'd raid your strawberry patch for sure! Ours so far haven't produced much, but we noticed some yesterday so we're hoping for a few more, the ones we had were delicious. Our raspberries on the other hand we'll have more then we know what to do with, wonder how the balsamic vinegar would work in raspberry jam? I might have to mention that to Nola as she's always looking to try new things.

daydreamer said...

oh, i am completely jealous. i love strawberries! i had to buy more at the store today...

congrats on your super awesome garden.


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