Growing your own veggies and fruits is something I have grown up with. My mom loves gardening, my dad enjoys picking and drying edible wild herbs. My grandparents spent years working in a vegetable greenhouse in Austria producing varieties of crops. Despite the fact that my family lives in a big city, we have never missed the opportunity of heading to a local farm and picking our own fruits and veggies.
It is strawberry season here in Ontario, starting mid-June and extending into mid-July. And even though our son is traveling right now, my husband and I couldn't skip the tradition of picking berries. To us, the simple pleasure of picking-your-own has always been a perfect way of reconnecting to the food we eat and most importantly, of raising a kid with an awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and buying locally.
I have to say, nothing beats fresh, flavorful, local strawberries that have been gathered from the field with your own hands. Nothing beats homemade jam that my mom makes every summer for us and now I am making it for our son... Nothing beats fresh salad with strawberry, spinach and herbs that you grow yourself...
I don't know what exactly made the author conclude "happiness is homemade", but if it was homemade berry jam on a slice of warm freshly baked walnut bread... I totally understand...
2 kg (4.4 lbs) strawberries, washed
1 kg (2.2 lbs) sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Wash freshly picked strawberries changing the water several times, so no sand or soil is left. Cut the stems and spread strawberries in a baking dish. Add sugar on it. Cover the dish and leave it for about 10-12 hours. Strawberries should absorb the sugar and release their juice.
Preheat oven to 350°C. Bake until bubbles appear and strawberry texture gets denser ( about an hour and a half, depends on how watery the fruits are). Add a tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice and bake for a few more minutes.
Pour the jam in sterilized glass jars. If you want to keep them in the pantry, you will need to seal the jars by placing in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
Make about four jars (250 ml)
Strawberry Spinach Salad
1/2 package of baby spinach, washed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
pecan halves or walnuts
Assemble baby spinach, strawberries and basil. Add crumbled goat cheese and pecan halves. Drizzle with strawberry vinaigrette.
Sharing with Pink Saturday/ Our Sunday Best