May 14, 2010

Strawberries, Jellies, and Pies... oh my!

We had some late-comers to the Love My Library party, so go on over and show them some comment-love! It's not too late to link up your own post; the party goes through Saturday, as does my latest GIVEAWAY. Become a follower and comment here to enter for a chance to win a gift certificate to Just For Me Sewing!

I mentioned yesterday that we took the kids strawberry picking. I was the only one who did any real picking. E was busy finding three spiders and six grasshoppers, and A was preoccupied stuffing her face with berries. I, however, managed to pick 8 lbs of gorgeous, sun-ripened strawberries.

The tricky thing about fresh picked berries is that they spoil in about 48 hours. I know, those California berries last for over a week in the fridge, but our Virginia variety will over-ripen as soon as you turn your back. This means you've got two days to freeze, preserve, or consume 8 lbs of strawberries!

Freezing is easy. Just hull, wash, and pat dry your berries. Then place them upright on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer for 24 hours. Once they are fully frozen you can store in a gallon ziplock bag for 2-3 months in the freezer.

Jelly takes a little more time, but is so worth it. Strawberries taste best fresh, so use this simple freezer jam recipe: 1) Buy a package of Sure-Jell. 2) Follow the directions. Yes, it's that's simple. If you really need a step-by-step pictorial, you can visit my sister's blog. And if the 4:2 ratio of sugar to berries scares you, just buy the lower sugar variety of Sure-Jell (although it won't be quite as yummy).

One batch will take about an hour of your time - a great way to spend the afternoon with your adorable assistant!

While your jam is setting up, you have just enough berries left for this easy pie.

No-Bake Strawberry Pie

- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3 T strawberry jello
- 3 T cornstarch
- 1 t lemon juice
- 1 prepared Keebler's shortbread pie crust
- several cups of strawberries

Wash and hull the strawberries, filling the pie crust. Stir the sugar, water, jello, and cornstarch in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Add the lemon juice. Pour mixture evenly over the strawberries and place in fridge. Allow at least an hour to set. Then watch it disappear!

My pie and jelly were a success, but I'm afraid I failed at finding more strawberry-themed books. I admit I dislike Jamberry, and while I love Blueberries for Sal, it's a blueberry book. Where are all the books about strawberries? I can find dozens on apples and pumpkins. Why is summer fruit so under-represented? Do you know of any good strawberry books I missed?


  1. The pie looks delicious! I think everyone is enjoying this time of year. We're making strawberry ice cream tonight with our leftover strawberries. We're going back for more next week and I think I'll try your pie.

    I searched our library's catalog and there is a book called "Molly and the strawberry day" by Pam Conrad that looks cute. We haven't read it before, so I can't attest to whether it is good or not.

  2. Those strawberries look wonderful! Our berries are still just blossoms, and they are a very tiny, but tasty, mountian variety, so it takes a lot of them to make jam - but we usually manage one batch every summer - so good!

  3. love the picture of her cooking, way too cute.

  4. the original Strawberry Shortcake books were really wonderful.

  5. I wish I knew about the 48 hour thing sooner… I had to throw away about 5 or 6 lbs of mine!!! :(

    And thanks for sharing how to freeze them! I never knew. I would’ve ended up with one giant strawberry glob with my next batch.

  6. I loved Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski when I was little. It's a chapter book about a farm worker family in Florida in the 1940's. I haven't read it for a long time, but your 5 year old might like it! It also won a Newbery Medal.

  7. I know a strawberry book that my kids adore...(it has a long title) it is: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Stawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audry Wood. I will admit I am a big fan of these authors. Their writing and pictures are brilliant.

    Thanks for the pie recipe. I will have to try that. I am sad I am too late for the party. Maybe next time...

  8. These sound like such yummy ways to enjoy your freshly picked strawberries.

    You would think that there would be more books about strawberries and strawberry picking.


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