It’s that time of year when strawberries are ripe, sweet and plentiful. The season is short so one needs to stock up while you can. So, I did! After picking up a pail of strawberries at the local produce stand, I embarked on a day-long jam and pie making spree.
For the jam I chose a No-Fail, Super Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam from Chris at The Cafe Sucre Farine. Chris also has a recipe for Easy Strawberry Balsamic Black Pepper Jam and I gave that a go, cutting the recipe to half since it was an experiment. I wish I had done more!
Washing, hulling (removing the stems), and slicing the berries was first on the agenda. It took up my morning. After a short break and lunch with Bud, it was time to gather and mix the ingredients. Easy, peazy! Except for a short stint in the microwave, there is no cooking required, so the nice red color and sweetness do not get lost. All that is required is a bit of stirring, waiting, stirring, and more waiting and stirring. I am a very messy cook so this gave me time to cleanup the kitchen and prepare the jars for filling.
The two recipes are almost identical, so I was able to do both at the same time – while cleaning the kitchen. The result was 2 quarts of strawberry and 1 quart of the balsamic black pepper. (insert image)
Bud is a big lover of strawberries and rhubarb. While strawberries were easy to find, rhubarb is not grown in our hot, dry climate. I did find a small package at the grocery and was able to make him a pie and small jar of sauce. The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes where they describe rhubarb as “pinkish red celery” and “stems of really fat swiss chard.” It is quite tart which makes it a good companion to strawberries. The pie went together quickly with only a few ingredients and a store-bought crust. TIP: When making a juicy pie like this, make sure the sides are sealed tight. Luckily for me I had heeded the advice and put a tray under the pie to catch drips.
With a dollop of ice cream on top, it t was a tasty treat that he shared.
My sauce was the remaining strawberries and rhubarb cooked with a bit of orange juice, lemon juice and sugar – like Mom used to make. No recipe required. Strawberry rhubarb sauce is a thinner consistency than jam and not as sweet. Delicious on a morning waffle, mixed in yogurt, dolloped on oatmeal or cereal, and, of course, with ice cream, we are enjoying the sauce.
After a long, hard day in the kitchen I got Bud to take me out to dinner. Dessert was waiting at home.
I hope you will check out these recipes and other delicious offerings from the links provided.
Don’t you just love strawberries? How do you feel about rhubarb? Love it? Hate it? Never had it?