Friday, June 27, 2008

Strawberry season!

We have picked at Dickinson Farm, The Food Bank Farm, and Nourse Farm in Whately near Hatfield. Food Bank had the best taste. Dickinson was average for taste, good size berries and decent picking. By the time we got to trying Nourse they had been hit with lots of rain which can leave lots of problems: watery, bland berries, rot or disease. But we just had to try and it was really worth it. The berries were big and juicy but still had good flavor. They did lose some to rot (When they were ready to be picked no one was there due to rain) but the bushes were so bountiful it was easy picking.
Leslie was facinated with the unusally shaped ones and our friend Adria was able to come and pick. We saved the best ones to just eat (2 quarts) made a batch of regular jam and one low sugar. Then I put about 4 or 5 quarts in the freezer.
This is part of my strategy for dealing with prices this year. I'm going to take advantage of my canning jars and my huge freezer to save as much as I can. We started keeping a stocked pantry and freezer back in the Y2K days. (I felt with a large family we had a responsibilty to be ready although we did not go as far as stocking up water and hermetically sealed food. One sister did and I still have a 1/2 barrel of dry milk I use for baking. The grain mill they bought and gave us turned out to be a dud. The wheat was stronger than the metal! We were able to donate her wheat to someone with a good grain mill.)
Any way I think there is no better decoration to a kitchen than visible, beautiful evidence it is used.


Have fun this summer!

Oh and I couldn't help it -
Jeff and I shared some Berkshire Brewing Company Ale (better known as BBC around here.) Incredible micro brew!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mary if you cut down on caffeine you might just run out of "gas" earlier in the evening.
After all, you must have inserted this AFTER you came to Northampton with 5 children @ 8 AM...picked, washed, cut, froze, and made jam out of strawberries, coordinating the Four Musketeers in and out of the kitchen to take turns @ washing,, cutting, smooshing, stirring (the part where you were teaching Sarah to hold the knife was probably what tuckered her out)

You carried 25 pounds of laundry down a flight of stairs and into the van...fed the tribe lunch, (HMMM...me thinks me remembers you making a pot o' coffee around that time right? Was it caffineated? I will bet you a large no chocolate Butterfinger's that it was!

And I thought you were just being a good hostess...now I know you made that coffee for YOURSELF, and I just happened to be there...SHAME ON YOU, you caffine addict... you might think of others now and then!
But then you skipped on over to Stop & Shop to find something "simple to make for dinner" (a roast beef, cauliflower, fresh gravy...but NO Yorkshire pudding because you were short on eggs.

I thought "gee Mary is VERY lazy not going back to Stop and Shop for some eggs", but even YOU can sluff off now and then.

Onward! Sitting on the couch working on the quilt, (by now even Sarah is collapsed out...on the couch ...sleeping...probably from learning more about making jam from you.
Organizing the troops to set the table,wash hands, get ready for dinner, unload dishwasher (actually I think YOU unloaded it 2 times while I was there.
Serving 7 people roast beef, cutting it in bite size pieces for 3, organizing the tribe to finish dinner, THEN shuffle out of the house to my place with Jeff and me in toe, on a chair, patching a large, deep hole in my lathe and plaster ceiling, moving cabinets and counters, repairing/reconnecting the hinge on a heavy wooden door.

I am probably forgetting 10 or 20 things but I am exhausted just thinking about your yesterday.

BUT WAIT...the hop on over to BIG Y after my house,organizing the kids goodnights, saying prayers (at this point I would need to pray to have the energy to wake up the next morning...but then again, a Jewish princess like me would have been tired by noon from getting 5 kids into a van @ 7;30 AM to go strawberry picking.

And somehow AFTER all of this, there seems to be an account of your day titled "Strawberry Picking" in your blog, which either happened partly when you had 3 minutes to yourself, and were on the computer.
The other scary thought is that after BIG Y, the amazing couple... you and what's his name... enjoyed some of the Berkshire Brew lovingly and creating a semi date connection AFTER the Three Musketeers were in bed, and probably while you were talking in earnest to Melissa and/or
Jeffery,sharing in their day or helping solve a problem or two and finishing up the blog.

And when I called you this morning...you sounded happy and ready to tackle a "Mary Brazeau" with less coffee day.

Mary, JMO, but maybe keep the coffee AND the alcohol, (the amount you drink unless you are partying with you sisters and doing a "Pong"
is probably less than me, and I am not a big drinker. Really...I dont see you doing that much drinking

Come to think of it...I dont think I have ever seen you go in or come out of the downstairs bathroom unless it was to help a Leslie or a Zoe in there.

I am going to lie down and take a nap now...Recalling your yesterday has made me exhausted.

Happy Strawberry season to you to Mary.

A

Mary B said...

And I take time to read the comments section because I have nothing else to do!
I must be manic.