Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Strawberries for the 4th

The strawberry season is quickly drawing to a close here, so I knew I had to act fast or I would miss it. My mom was on board for some picking, so we heading south to Sam Kedem's. I chose that farm because this year I wanted to go to an organic farm for my pick-your-own experience. Sam Kedem's was a really relaxed place that basically just set us free in the field to pick wherever we wanted. Plus, the berries were scrumptious!

Since the berries are smaller and we were going at the end of the season, we had to work hard for our yield. My goal was around 13 pounds but after about 7 pounds, we ran out of time and had to get going. I left with more than just my berries, though. I also scored some honey, dehydrated strawberries, cherry tomatoes, a bell pepper and my mom bought me a perennial flower for my rain garden from the farm store. I was hoping to buy some eggs but they said their chickens were lazy and didn't lay any eggs that morning.

Even though I picked less than I would have liked, I still had enough to make a few recipes I've had my eyes on. I started by macerating lemons and strawberries in sugar overnight to make a strawberry lemon preserve that tastes like 2/3 strawberry jam and 1/3 lemon marmalade.

The timing for this strawberry yogurt cake recipe was perfect. When served with a dollop of plain yogurt, it feels reminiscent of a sophisticated strawberry shortcake.

I also have been wanting to try the Strawberry Jam with Thai Herbs from Canning for a New Generation, but I didn't have enough left for a full batch. To satisfy the craving, I followed the Quick Strawberry Jam recipe from Put 'em Up! and stirred in thai basil, spearmint and cilantro after the jam came off of the burner.

The herbed version is on the left and the lemon is on the right. The verdict at my house is that I love them both and Paul only likes the lemon one. I'd like to know your thoughts and experiences with mixing herbs into jam. Have you done it? Did it keep well? Did the flavor get stronger as it sits? What flavor combinations sound good to you?

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