Apologies folks for being M.I.A. the last few days, but I had to run up to Seattle for some meetings and got behind in life! I knew you crazy kids would understand.
I have been thinking about how to break this to you. I am a person who hates to let someone down and so I have continued down a road that has begun to create a little bit of anxiety. As you know I started training for the half marathon that will take place on July 4th. I have the ability to push myself beyond physical limits but in doing so I’ve started to develop small injuries, which I fear will only get worse. Training for distance like this should really be a 6-month process at least, not a 3-month process. So, with that I have adjusted my race to be a 5K instead.
The lesson in this: know thyself, be true to thyself. I will be working toward the half marathon in the meantime, and at my own pace. There it is.
Look at this beast — that’s what we call this truck in NoPo parts. Ben loves old cars and trucks and he recently got this old Chevy to restore and give a good spit-shine. It’s bleeping huge and I can’t believe it is sitting in my driveway…but it brings him a lot of joy so I guess I can’t get in the way of that.
I rode in it for the first time on Saturday. We took it to Sauvie Island to one of the farmers markets:
It’s glorious strawberry season! We went to the berry patch to U-pick strawberries and had a super-fun time in the sun. First we had fresh sweet corn and grilled burgers, and then jumped on a flat-bed and rode out to the strawberry patch. It took us awhile (yes, harvesting is work!) but we collected a flat, or about 12 pints of strawberries from the vine.
Brycey had a great time and learned about strawberry vines and the different ripening stages of the fruit.
We were wiped out after all that hard work, but were excited to get the berries home to make strawberry jam.
There are lots of different recipes out there for preserving, and I decided to experiment a bit with the ratios of sugar to fruit. These strawberries are peaking in their sweetness, and I didn’t like the idea of adding tons of sugar, but I learned that the sugar was important in helping the fruit to set properly once in the jars. I did reduce the amount however, and also bought some liquid pectin.
Strawberry Jam Preserves
10 pints fresh strawberries, hulled
7 c sugar
Juice of 4 lemons
1 package of liquid pectin
Wash your jars with hot soapy water and let them dry. Keep them in a 250 degree oven while you prepare the fruit.
Heat the lemon juice and the sugars in a large pot and mix until the sugars start to dissolve. Add the pectin and mix well, keeping on the heat for about 7 minutes until you have syrup.
Add the strawberries to the pot and mix well again. Use a hand potato masher to mash the fruit a little bit and let this cook down, about 30 minutes. To test whether or not the fruit is ready to set, take a spoonful and place in the freezer for about 3 minutes. If it’s still runny then keep it on the heat and continue reducing.
Take half of the fruit preserve and ran it through the blender for a few seconds and then added it back to the pot, mixing with the strawberry chunks. Carefully add to the jars, leaving about ½ inch room to breathe. Let cool for another 30 minutes before putting the lids on. Yields 12 ½ pint jars of jam.
This jam tasted amazing! I am making another batch to save as gifts before the season ends.
Have a fantastic day!