Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Strawberry Heaven

One of the best things about living in Oregon is the strawberries. You will never find Oregon berries like Hoods and Puget Reliance in your local grocery stores. They are too delicate and juicy for shipping and won't last more than 2 or 3 days after picking. These berries need to be picked and eaten or processed immediately and that is why I love them. They are completely red all the way through and super juicy.

We got word on Thursday that Groveland Acres strawberry fields were ready for picking. They offer u-pick strawberries for 75 cents a pound and after just 30 minutes of picking, the kids and I had about 13 pounds of berries.

I went home and made a delicious strawberry lemonade concentrate, as well as an angel food cake for strawberry shortcake. That night, we had hamburgers, home made french fries, strawberry lemonade with strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Not used to the kids complimenting my cooking, Ethan's dinner comment caught me completely off-guard. He said, "Mom, this meal is so good, it's like we went to a restaurant and all ordered the same thing!"

It was definitely one of those moments where everything comes into perspective and I realized that life was good. Life was good, but the strawberries were delicious!

Just in case its not too late for you to get delicious strawberries where you live, here is a very simple recipe for delicious strawberry lemonade concentrate. It can be preserved in a water bath canner (let me know if you want these additional instructions), or simply refrigerated for a few weeks or so and used with in that time.

6 cups hulled strawberries
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used bottled lemon juice)
6 cups granulated sugar

In a blender puree strawberries until smooth. Transfer to a large stainless steel sauce pan and add lemon juice and sugar. Stir to combine. Heat to 190 degrees farenheit over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Do not boil. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Ladle into clean quart jars and refrigerate or process in a water bath canner.

To make lemonade, mix one part concentrate to one part water. You can also add 1 part lemonade to 1 part of lemon lime soda, club soda or gingerale.

1 comment:

Catherine said...

That looks like so much fun. Great picture. Can you post the fancy canning instructions? Do I have to buy some canning equipment or just jars?