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The Daily Bucket & Sweet Summer Strawberries

15 May

And today’s bucket included … a lot of fruit!Image

Things you can see (clockwise starting from top):

  • watermelon rind
  • pineapple core
  • cantaloupe rind
  • hibiscus tea bags, tops & trims cut off & discarded

What you can’t see:

  • iceberg lettuce core
  • skins from a russet potato
  • skin from an onion
  • skins from garlic cloves
  • stems from thyme
  • peel from a mango
  • banana peel

A second bucket held LOTS of yummy just-picked strawberry tops! Image

What did I make with all of that?

  • Mango Banana Smoothies
  • Cut up fruit for snacks
  • Potato Gnocchi with Browned Butter, Onion & Thyme
  • Wedge Salad with Creamy Herb Feta Dressing
  • Twelve tiny jars of strawberry jam (one already eaten, two gifted)Image

Aren’t these gorgeous?  We are not HUGE jam fans, since it’s often more sugar sweet than berry sweet.  But, I like the uber-retro-domestic-fun process of preserving, not just the fruit, but the rows of strawberries in the field, how the sun was shining, how it started chilly and then got HOT, you know, basically preserving the experience.  (Have to confess, my son and his adorable girlfriend were the pickers, so I’m mixing memories and thinking of this as College Sweethearts Jam.)

But, back to the recipe.  I browsed my favorite tattered cookbook for ideas and a how-to refresher.  Remembered an inspired recipe that had piqued my interest months ago, and then remembered I wanted more berry, less sugar taste.  Hmmm… more searching turned up citrus pectin and a guideline on how to create your own flavors with the amount of sweetener that suites you best.  Perfect!  So, a bucket of strawberries, a cup of sugar, a vanilla bean and a lot of love turned into the tastiest jam I’ve had in ages.  Sweet!

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2013 in The Daily Bucket

 

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