Sunday, June 26, 2011

2nd Annual Strawberry Pickin' and Jelly Makin'

This year we continued on the tradition of picking strawberries and making jelly! Last year we went to the New Munich Strawberry Patch but this year due to the funky spring weather they were picked out and we had to find an alternative. We ended up going to the Cedar Pine Strawberry Farm near Upsala/Burtrum, MN. Mom and Suzette met Grant and I there to pick a few berries ;)

And by few berries I actually mean 82 POUNDS OF BERRIES!!! Haha! We felt like we didn't have enough last year so we kept picking and picking .... and picking. Little did we know how many we actually picked until we checked out. But, at $1.50/lb for fresh berries we figured it was a good deal anyways!

All of our 82lbs of berries ready to be prepped for jelly and freezing!

Before we got too serious with the jelly making we had to take a break for some delicious caramel rolls from Charlie's Cafe... apparently this is another tradition for the jelly making day :)

Uncle Darrell, Suzette and Grant.

Let the jelly making begin! Mom, Heather, Me and Suzette trying to remember what we did last year to make the jelly ;)

This year we tried a new recipe for the strawberry jelly that doesn't use any pectin and less sugar - we sort of OD'd on the sugar last year (but I mean, come on, 40lbs of sugar isn't that much, right?? Seriously how did we use that much sugar last year?!) - here's a pic of the recipe (middle one):

We doubled this recipe (4 quarts pureed strawberries and *correction* 10 cups sugar) and just made one batch of it like that. We poured it into jars right away to let them seal. Note to self - one batch of this makes 24 half pint/8oz jars. Last year we thought our jelly was a little too stiff so we wanted to try this without pectin and it did turn out thinner this time. Yum!

Mom washing more jars.

Heather stirring until it boils! We used Suzette's giant spaghetti pot after trying the first batch in a smaller 6qt pan that we discovered wasn't big enough :)

After making one doubled batch of strawberry jelly we made the rest of the batches strawberry-rhubarb since that seemed to be more popular from the jelly we made last year.

We sort of made up/modified a recipe for the strawberry rhubarb and it went like this (we doubled this for each batch we made):

Strawberry Rhubarb Jelly
- 3.5 cups pureed strawberries
- 4.25 cups diced rhubarb
- 9 cups sugar (original recipe called for 10 but we cut back)
- 1 box sure gel/pectin (recipe called for 2 but we didn't want it so stiff)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice (we didn't add this)
- 1/2 tsp butter (we forgot to add this - I think it's just to reduce the amount of foam that it makes which we just skimmed off before pouring it into jars)

- Cook the rhubarb down (um make sure you turn the burner on when you do this - ha!)
- Put all fruit and pectin into a pot and stir
- Add one cup sugar at a time stirring constantly on medium heat
- Once sugar is dissolved, turn the heat up to med high (or higher when you get impatient) and bring to a rolling boil
- Stir for one minute at a boil

Wiping and putting lids on to let the jelly cool and the lids seal.

So, in all here's what we used:
- Three 10lb bags of sugar
- Seven boxes of sure gel
- 82lbs/9 boxes of strawberries (we froze a bunch of whole berries too - this wasn't all used for jelly)

And here's what we made:
1 batch (doubled) strawberry jelly (24 half pint/8oz jars)
3 batches (doubled) strawberry/rhubarb jelly
1 batch (not doubled) strawberry/rhubarb jelly where Mom substituted honey for half of the sugar

For a grand total of 68 jars of jelly in either half pint or pint jars!

And, for next year we decided we need these tools:
- A magnet lid grabber to get the hot lids out of the boiling water
- Another strawberry huller thingy or 2

Doji, Ella and the baby kitty hanging out during the jelly making.

While the jelly making was going on the boys decided to tackle another project. They got a big tractor out and pulled this tree over.

Grant, Jake and Uncle Darrell.

There was also some bike riding that took place.

And we went on a horse ride!

We had a fun day!

1 comment:

  1. Hey, for the strawberry jam, it was 4 quarts pureed strawberries and 4 cups sugar plus another 6 cups of sugar... right?


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