June 12, 2009

First Things First

I had a hard time naming this post. Too many ideas: "First Things First," "Setting Priorities," or "The Harvest Waits For No One." We had barely gotten the moving truck unloaded and had boxes piled up all over the house, when Dan came home with this ...

These were absolutely the best strawberries!
... a case (4 overflowing quarts) of fresh, ripe strawberries. Of course these wouldn't keep for long, so there I was, rooting through boxes, trying to find canning jars, rings and lids, pectin, sugar, stirring spoons, canning funnel, jar lifter, tongs, and pans, not to mention my water bath canner.

Amazingly I found everything.

The long stir.
I've made and canned strawberry jam every year for the past 13 years, except last year. Somehow I missed strawberry season. This meant that Dan was out of his favorite jam for almost a whole year. Obviously he wasn't going to let a little thing like a move be the cause of that again.

The fruit of my labor.
We got nine pints of jam, plus several days worth of strawberry short cake and fresh sliced strawberries on cereal. Yum.

First Things First copyright June 2009 by 


Mim said...

I wasn't paying attention to your blog and just saw you have this blog too! Beautiful area. I vote for shetland sheep. Much more practcal than alpacas. Excuse me if you don't butcher animals, but you can eat shetlands and they are very good. Plus they are weed eaters like goats so they could fix your problem with brush over growing the area. Not to mention the WOOL! Make sure if you have a vegetable garden you put it next to the chickens. Much easier than the way I have my coop.

bspinner said...

Beautiful berries!!!!! Isn't it canning satisfyingly? All those jars of homemade jelly doesn't get any better than that. You're making me hungry.

Woolly Bits said...

hm, that looks just yummeh! imagine - by next year you could have your own strawberry patch with loads of pickings:)) strawberries are my favourite and picked warm from the plant cannot be topped by anything! the downside of the jam is - that it tastes so good, that the jars won't last long:))

Renee Nefe said...

This is my first visit to your new blog and WOW! What an awesome place you found. I'm so happy for you. I would be so torn between keeping the house as original as possible and tearing everything out to make it mine. LOL!

Love the strawberries! Luckily I have a friend who will help me with that this year and not let my strawberry plants go to waste this year.

Sharon said...

Ditto Mim. Oh wait, I bought my sheep from her. We buy locker lambs from her - delicious. I don't want to eat my own animals.

Life Looms Large said...

Those strawberries look so good! I've heard rumors that they're ripe around here, but haven't found any yet. Soon I hope!

Was this jam made in your kitchen? With the new counterspace?? (I'm reading your blog out of order.)


Leigh said...

Mim, welcome! And thank you so much for the suggestions about Shetlands. I didn't realize that these little guys could be used for brush control too. I'm definitely researching this!

Barb, I agree about canning. I love it. It's satisfying not only to see the labor of my hands like this, but also to know that it enables us to eat the very best quality food.

Bettina, I'm already considering where to put some strawberry plants! :)

Renee, welcome to you too! We have the same dilemma. Originally we wanted to restore the house to a more original look, but the more we discuss what to do with it, the more we seem to stay from that goal. It will take awhile to get it all done, so who knows.

Sharon, I wish Mim lived that close to me too. :)

Sue, the jam was made in the kitchen before we put the cabinet in. Quite a challenge, but it makes me appreciate my "new" kitchen all the more!