September Daring Cook's Challenge: Strawberry Preserves

"Snore," I thought when I read the September Daring Cooks challenge. Canning. Done it.

I don't mean to sound like a snob worldly home cook who deems herself above the rest of the Daring Cooks. I certainly didn’t have to dumb myself down to make strawberry preserves, and I understand that home canning and preserving is a science. I just can't imagine that many people who would consider themselves "daring" home cooks in the first place haven’t already attempted home canning, at least once.

I digress. I guess I was just hoping for something out of my comfort zone, like salmon en croute or crepes or something.

The September 2010 Daring Cooks’ challenge was hosted by John of Eat4Fun. John chose to challenge The Daring Cooks to learn about food preservation, mainly in the form of canning and freezing. He challenged everyone to make a recipe and preserve it. John’s source for food preservation information was from The National Center for Home Food Preservation.

So I made strawberry preserves. For one, strawberry season is almost over. Secondly, I remember my mother canning jelly when I was very small, and I’d never attempted it myself. Equipped with the same materials from our bread and butter pickles, I followed a recipe for strawberry preserves from the Ball book of home canning.

I hulled and mashed some strawberries.

I juiced a lemon.

I measured out 7 cups (yikes!) of sugar, and added powdered pectin.

I boiled the heck out of the whole thing.

The whole process was simple, but I did learn some things.
  • I learned that sticky, hot preserves splatter and adhere to skin.
  • Perhaps most importantly, I learned that a classic PB&J is stratospherically improved when grape jelly is replaced by strawberry preserves. I had PB&SP sandwich twice for lunch this week, possibly against my better judgment.
  • This stuff is nothing like what you find in the grocery store. It's purer and...strawberry-er.
  • I will use less pectin next time as they turned out a little thicker and not quite a spreadable than I'd have liked.

The original challenge post
And the recipe I followed

No comments:

Post a Comment