Strawberry Fields L’olam Vaed

In the ongoing battle with gofers, squirrels and garden pests, the JENE fellows have taken a stand. Just in time for spring, we created an (fingers crossed) impenetrable barrier between our strawberries and the gofers. We built a strawberry mound complete with chicken wire fencing surrounding and beneath the mound, a removable gate and automated irrigation system. After laying the initial ground covering, (chicken wire to keep the gofers from digging up and into the bed) mounding up and amending the soil, we transplanted our strawberries and added the surrounding fencing and gate. Excitingly, we’re seeing a great response from the little guys. We’ve already got a host of flowers and even a strawberry.

One of our little strawberry flowers

Our first strawberry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by our new project and just in time for Purim festivities, we’ve a recipe for fresh strawberry jam. This should be a fine addition to your hamentaschen this year. Wishing you a delicious holiday!

Fresh Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 1/2 pints fresh strawberries, hulled and halve
Directions
Combine the sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved. Add the strawberries and continue to cook over very low heat for 20 minutes, until the strawberries release some of their juices and the mixture boils slowly. Cook until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate. (I keep one in the freezer.) Pour carefully into 2 pint canning jars and either seal or keep refrigerated. Use immediately, or follow proper canning guidelines below.

Sterilizing Tips:

Properly handled sterilized equipment will keep canned foods in good condition for years. Sterilizing jars is the first step of preserving foods.

Jars should be made from glass and free of any chips or cracks. Preserving or canning jars are topped with a glass, plastic, or metal lid, which has a rubber seal. Two piece lids are best for canning, as they vacuum seal when processed.

To sterilize jars, before filling with jams, pickles, or preserves, wash jars and lids with hot, soapy water. Rinse well and arrange jars and lids open sides up, without touching, on a tray. Leave in a preheated 175 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Or, boil the jars and lids in a large saucepan, covered with water, for 15 minutes.

Use tongs when handling the hot sterilized jars, to move them from either boiling water or the oven. Be sure the tongs are sterilized too, by dipping the ends in boiling water for a few minutes.

As a rule, hot preserves go into hot jars and cold preserves go into cold jars. All items used in the process of making jams, jellies, and preserves must be clean. This includes any towels used, and especially your hands.

After the jars are sterilized, you can preserve the food. It is important to follow any canning and processing instructions included in the recipe and refer to USDA guidelines about the sterilization of canned products.

Recipe sourced here.

 

 

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