This weekend was AWESOME! I got to enjoy one of my favorite late spring/early summer activities with one of my favorite persons – Hub’s Oma.
Nothing holds the taste and scent of summer more intensely as strawberries and no berry tastes and smells quite as good as those harvested in the right season. But what about the rest of the year? The choice is to buy frozen berries, imported greenhouse berries, or as I do, collect as many of the seasonal berry as needed and preserve them to carry us through the year. Here’s how I save mine:
Two & half kilos of fresh, self-picked strawberries; the plastic container became a gift for friends who’d invited us to a BBQ later that day.
Should’ve been done shortly after picking but I had a BBQ to attend. 2.5 kilos seperated between perfect and slightly too ripe/bruised.
Hulling is easy with the right tool – a simple straw.
See; it perfectly removes the hull.
Washed, dried, hulled, & powdered with 1/2 cup of sugar.
Packed in a single layer in a zip-closure, freezer bag; these will keep for about a year with no lose of color, minor softening, but still in form with great texture. I use these for topping cheesecake and ice-cream.
The not-so-perfect berries are blended with sugar and lime to taste.
This is what I mean by a not-so-perfect berry; slightly bruised. It would turn to mush if frozen with sugar as the others were.
Blend until smooth and bottle in clean jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom (liquids expand when freezing). The more concentrated the flavors, the better, as this syrup will be used in both non- and alcoholic drinks. Should keep for about a year in the freezer…if it lasts that long!
Planning next year’s garden while enjoying the taste of summer – a strawberry spritzer: 1/4 glass of syrup, 1/4 glass of white wine, & the rest filled with cold sparkling water. Prost!
In garden news, the weather’s been practically perfect – cloudless, blue skies filled with blazing yellow sun; hot, humid temperatures; followed by cooling, drenching rains. Everything responded accordingly – lush, thick, fast growth; innumerous blossoms, and the beginning of the fruiting. Have a look-see:
I’ve been watching this little fellow (& his siblings) for weeks. They seemed to concregate by the plants with the aphids but weren’t eating my plants so I left them alone.
Then I noticed many of these on my Nasturtium (Kapuznerkressen) but no more of the little larvea…
Could it be? Has my garden been saved?
In any event, the Nasturtium doesn’t seem to be bothered, it even flowered.
Basil’s coming along pretty well.
About time to harvest the micro-greens experiement; seems to have worked, the tree’s shade & enough water in the tray keeps them from wilting.
The tomatoes and peas are making a jungle of my highbed…I’m probably going to have spacing problems yet again this year.
Cocktail tomatoes are on the way.
Green Zebras are also developing.
Both the Snowpeas and my Garden peas are heavy with fruit…now the wait.
Gold Rush zucchinis are plentiful
Apparently the temparatures are finally perfect for the Sunburst as it too begins to bring forth fruit.
My cucumber is also slowly growing tall and big enough to securely bear fruit.
I noticed a thickening of one of my Purple Haze carrot’s stalk…
and today I noticed the beginning of a flower stalk. What will it look like? Will the carrot still be edible?
The Sternjasmin is in full bloom, gorgeous, elegant, and heady in its rich scent.