July 5, 2013

Strawberry Happiness



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...







Easy Homemade Strawberry Jam (my mom's recipe)

Ingredients: 

2 kg (4.4 lbs) strawberries, washed
1 kg (2.2 lbs) sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Directions:

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°CBake 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 

Ingredients:

1/2 package of baby spinach, washed
1 cup strawberries, sliced
goat cheese
pecan halves or walnuts
basil

Directions:

Assemble baby spinach, strawberries and basil. Add crumbled goat cheese and pecan halves. Drizzle with strawberry vinaigrette.











Thank you! 




Sharing with Pink SaturdayOur Sunday Best




9 comments:

  1. My mouth is watering....Divinity here!!! Absolutely beautiful post, how I would love to be able to pick my own and make my own...I did that as a child back east, but it is not happening here in Las Vegas :). I worked for an Austrian for 20 years (Wolfgang Puck)...it is apparent that Austrians + Food = Heaven :)

    Thank you for sharing the recipe!
    Nathalie

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  2. Oh yummy! Every photo is simply delicious! My mouth is watering!

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  3. What can I say here but gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Dearest Sylvia...I can almost smell and taste those divinely delicious strawberries! Exquisite photos, dear sister....and thank you so much for sharing the fabulous recipes.
    I have made strawberry jam before...a little taste of childhood and pure bliss.
    Enjoy those yummies and a relaxing weekend, my friend...(when will we be seeing your book...hint hint! :)))
    Much love to you,
    - Irina

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  4. Wow! It looks so amazingly yummy... Stunning photos! Winter greetings from Australia♥ ~Pernilla

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  5. I totally agree about farm fresh foods. We go strawberry picking every season and then come home and make strawberry jam. There is just nothing like it. Your photos are wonderful of your strawberry goodness.

    Blessings from Tennessee!

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  6. Oh, I'm sad now as
    our spring came so
    late and the window
    for strawberry picking
    was VERY short: 7/1-
    7/7! Some of the farm
    stands may still have
    some, tomorrow. My
    favorite strawberry farm
    {which is also an apple
    orchard} decided not to
    grow their berries this
    year. I am determined
    to find some, though,
    and make jam ~ nothing
    beats homemade, for sure : )

    Lovely, lovely photos, my
    friend!

    xo Suzanne

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  7. Dearest...
    Your strawberries are gorgeous!!! They look so pretty in those jars. Yummy treats .
    We love strawberries down here. I did put up some corn today. Have to start on Okra tomorrow. You are so right...Fresh Veggies are the best and even better when you lovenly put them up yourself.
    Happy Fourth,
    Marie Antoinette

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  8. Oh goodness! Thank you so much for sharing your mom's recipe. It is much like the one I use that was my mother's. I love fresh jam, but usually my strawberries never make it into jam :)! Your photos are always stunning dear Sylvia!

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  9. Hello!! Wow! Salivating here Sylvia(: love it and will try both! Even though calgary squirrels ate all out strawberries ... I will buy them at our farmers market(:
    Hugs z

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