Strawberries galore

Last summer was the first time we picked strawberries together and made freezer jam.  We had so much fun and were able to eat tasty organic homemade jam all fall, winter and spring-long that we decided to go back again this year.  Thankfully, Grandma and Grandpa Shimogaki were around to help us pick and, well, unlike last year when Laird was just 9 months old and very irritable at the whole idea of watching us pick berries from his stroller, this year the strawberries themselves kept him occupied.  His preference were the green ones.  Thank goodness, otherwise our buckets would never have gotten full.

Those of you who know us, also know that the Lemrick-Shimogaki lunch staple is the peanut butter and jam sandwich, which is why having delicious jam is essential.  I know, I know, who could possibly eat a PB&J every single day?  Well, we can and honestly, I don’t get tired of it.  It’s guaranteed always good (especially with the right ingredients) and eating the same thing every day helps me not to overeat.  Okay, that’s my rationalization.  Anyway, after tasting the difference between homemade and store-bought, there is no going back.  Not only is it amazingly good, it’s also easier to control how much sugar goes into it and we can also say we made it.  You’d be amazed to see how much sugar goes into making jam.  To cut down on freezer space, this year we decided to can the jam instead.  It was fun at the beginning when I was motivated and hadn’t yet started sweating in the kitchen from standing over the stove.  But, after nearly 4 hours and 8 or 9 batches later, I was sick of strawberries and strawberry jam.  We canned about 25 pint jars of jam, a couple quart jars and even some strawberry-rhubarb for my dear husband.  So far we’ve had them on our sandwiches, pancakes and waffles and each bite brings me back to that special day our family picked strawberries on the farm.

**I’ll have to post photos of the final product later

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