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Love in a jar.

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1 Love in a jar. on Thu Jun 13, 2013 4:55 pm

uno

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Stayed up late last night making jam. Strawberry jam. Hub and I had driven out to the strawberry field and bought a flat. When the berry lady heard that I was making jam she brought out a flat of ugly berries, $4 off. Hub looked a little crestfallen, he is a berry fiend. When I am slicing berries he hovers nearby with a carton of cream clutched to his chest and an empty bowl in his hand. He wilted a little as he looked at the ugly berries I was purchasing. They're only for jam, I'm just going to bash them up with my potato masher, why pay for pretty berries to beat them to death? On the way home Hub groused that it's worth $4 more to not have to throw any of them in the slop bucket.

He was right. Should have gone for the better berries. They were loaded with sand! I could have potted plants in the dirt and sand on those berries. I rinsed them in a colander. Dumped the rinsed berries into a sink full of water and swished extensively. This goes against the grain as I was taught that it is possible to wash the flavour right out of a strawberry, to always handle with care. But these berries were so dirty! After swirling them in the sink they were rinsed again in the colander.

Now the slicing begins. Slice, slice, make a little bowl of the best berries for mournful Hub who thinks he's not going to get any berries at all. Sorrow has sent him for a nap. He sleeps, I slice. Easily a third went into the slop bucket as rock hard, rotting, or still caked with sand. It was slow slogging through the mess and huge variety in sizes. I would have been mortified at the amount lost, but I am in love with my ducks and knew they would  love the spoils, so I wasn't too put out about it. Hub gets up and is happy  to find a little sugared bowl with bright berries, just for him. He sits in the living room and eats his prize while I boil jars and measure sugar.

Two things make a huge mess in my kitchen, lasagna and jam. Can't make either without a full scale kitchen disaster. Wall to wall stickiness was the result but I had 14 sparkling jars of glorious jam, waiting for the lids to do their plink, plink, plink. Hub had long ago gone to bed for the night, I was alone, feeling that feeling that women have felt throughout the ages as they toil to provide food for their families, exhaustion. It was way past my bed time. I decided to leave the clean up until the morning, I was just too tired to tackle the task. BUt before heading off to brush my teeth I wanted to taste the result of my labour. There was a glistening bit of jam in the bottom of the pot. I swiped it up with my finger, hmm, there is sure a lot of berry seeds in the bottom, pop it in my mouth... SAND! The jam is full of sand! I have made 14 jars of sand jam. 

Love in a jar? Nope. Sand in a jar. I quit!

2 Re: Love in a jar. on Thu Jun 13, 2013 5:06 pm

SerJay

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Hub may not love your sandy strawberries but your duckies will not be disappointed and will LOVE you Smile

3 Re: Love in a jar. on Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:34 pm

mirycreek

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Hey I bet that the little bit of sand just settled to the bottom of the pot so that is why you got it when u scraped the bottom to taste, heres hoping the jars are much better!
Quite the letdown that would have been alright Mad

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4 Re: Love in a jar. on Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:15 pm

SerJay

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So did you check a jar? Was it sandy or did it just settle on the bottom of your pot?  So frustrating after all your hard work so I really hope it was still good.  

I know I had that problem when I bought local strawberries before moving to the north pole (ok its not but it feels like it LOL).  I really wanted to support local but when you find you have a bucket full of sand instead of berries it makes it hard to not pick up those huge clean but tasteless california berries.  Last year our strawberry patch gave a whole 4 teeny tiny blueberry sized strawberries LOL  With a family of 5 I didn't get a taste but my little guy was very serious when I asked him how it was and he informed me it was too small to taste anything really LOL

Last year I bought from one of those okanagan fruit trucks sets up every year.  I was super disappointed when I paid $80 for blueberries and strawberries and found only the top fruit wasn't so rotten I couldn't even feed it to the birds.  I ended up with a whole 6 jars so VERY expensive labour intensive jam.  I'm a sucker for punishment because I keep trying to support local(ish) but it makes it hard when I keep being burned when it comes to fruits.  When we were in Kamloops we loved buying local and going to Vernon was LOVELY with so many wonderful local fruits and veggies.  

I'm hoping your jam is still tasty Smile

5 Re: Love in a jar. on Fri Jun 14, 2013 5:52 am

Fowler

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What a pity. 

We finally figured out a few years ago to make our jam with overripe fruit.  If the strawberries look like you don't want to eat them (but they're not spoiled), then they're perfect.  No slicing.  they're so soft at that point that we just mash them.  Your head will explode with strawberry flavour.  Of course, then you have another mess to clean up.

6 Re: Love in a jar. on Fri Jun 14, 2013 11:30 am

SerJay

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You are right fowler the trick is to not allow your family to know LOL  

I don't use mouldy but mushy is PERFECT!  perfect strawberries etc have no flavour at all but mushy over ripe are tasty Smile  Every single time I make banana bread recipes my family moans and groans and makes gagging sounds at my black bananas but wow they make a tasty banana muffin, use fresh perfect bananas and no flavour at all.  

Sandy dirty fruit is disappointing and frustrating though

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