Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Strawberry Fields Forever


Oh, the joys of summer produce! Since reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma, I've really tried to make the majority of my produce local (and therefore, seasonal). I feel this is an ethical choice as an earth-worshipping witch and view it as a commitment to the Green Bloods.

With the growing season going at full tilt now, I'm in absolute paradise.

Last Friday, I went up to Butler's Orchards (about 10 minutes away from me) and went strawberry picking. I sang to the berry faeries, the plants, earth, and sun, enjoying myself immensely.

It wasn't until I finished going over four 40-foot long rows that I realized I might be a little overloaded. After waddling down to the checkout stand, bags in tow, I found that I had picked 25 pounds of the Early Glow variety gems!

Giggling on the drive home (and not giggling lugging the bags up the four flights of steps to my apartment), I was excited about all the treats I could make with my treasures.

The next day I got to making jam - and lots of it.

I hulled.






I stirred.






Finally, I canned.

Half of the strawberries were done in a plain jam, and the other half, I scraped vanilla beans into the bubbling fruit, making it a delightful strawberry-vanilla treat. I remember my mother, stepfather, and I eating stawberries dipped in vanilla sugar on the porch during early summer, so I figured this would be a good bet.

While in the process, I sang to the fruit, danced hip-spells of plenty and sensuality, and kissed the beautiful berries, sending reminders of beauty, love, sensual pleasures, and the joys of summer into the jam.

Upcoming pick-your-own harvests are blueberries and blackberries (I make a killer Blackberry Bay Leaf jam - thanks, Martha! Some may mock me for my adoration of you, but I don't care!)

1 comment:

Donald Engstrom-Reese said...

Lovely! Will you be bringing jars of wonder to us this Autumn? I nyd to taste the strawberry/vanilla jam. I am damn curious about the blackberry/bay leaf jam. What will you be doing with the blueberries?

I am making a rhubarb pie from stalks freshly picked from our garden this afternoon. I so wish you were joining me for the fun. I haven't yet worked out the spell it will be holding. It would be grand to work on that together too.

As Grandmother Bear commands, 'Eat More Pie!'