Sally and I got up bright and early this weekend. Why? We had a date with a strawberry field. The night before we went had included a big storm and the morning we went was on the chillier side. In short, it was the perfect conditions for slugs! There were slugs of all sizes on the berries, on the leaves of the plants and on us. The field was really wet, but the brilliant people at Bauer Berry Farm had spread hay between the rows of berry plants. We stuck with it and both ended up with a heaping flat of berries. I took mine home and spent a big part of the rest of the weekend processing them.
I cleaned, hulled and froze almost 2 gallon bags full. My plan is to pull these out for smoothies long after berry season has ended.
I put my new canning supplies to use with a batch of strawberry jam. In the process I learned that there is actually more sugar in jam than there is fruit! I was not thrilled with that knowledge and actually wish that I could unknow it. Next year I will look for some preserve recipes that are lower in sugar. Despite my realization about the sugar content, I am still pleased with how it turned out. I made enough for use now and some to store for later.
I also dehydrated a batch of strawberries in our food dehydrator. Drying them doesn't really give you the most bang for your buck but I enjoyed having them on hand last year. I mostly used them in steel cut oatmeal, but this year I'd like to try them in baked goods and/or homemade granola.
In addition to all of this saving, I had enough left to bring some to work for coworkers and enough to leave a bowl in the fridge for eating this week.
Next up: pesto!