Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snow and Strawberries

On March 1 I read that some cool weather crops, such as potatoes, should be in the ground by mid-to late March. 

Since we were laid up with flu and the garden-to-be looked like this:

 I doubted that this garden wisdom would be heeded.

Instead, in between nose blows and pathetic rounds of "Who Feels Worse?" I thumb through catalogs and drool over strawberries like these Ozark Beauties.

"Wave after wave of lush berries all the way through frost." Ahh...

Although, upon close inspection, the dimples in these berries 
make them look like little red butts.

Here's an easy recipe for some Strawberry Jam. Even with store bought, out of season berries you can get a yummy jam that's fantastic on toast, biscuits, scones or just the end of your fingers.

Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
from "The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook" pg 780.

Makes about 2 cups

1 quart strawberries, hulled & sliced thin
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Set a small bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and set aside. Simmer strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until the mixture begins to look syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and spoon 1/2 teaspoon fruit mixture into the small bowl set over ice water. Let sit for 30 seconds. Tip the bowl to one side. The jam should move only slightly. If mixture is too fluid and runs to the side of the bowl, return the skillet to heat and continue to cook until mixture looks thicker, 2 to 4 minutes. Repeat the test and continue to cook, if necessary.

Cool to room temperature before serving, about 1 hour.

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