Yes, I know what you may be thinking…”Strawberry season? I thought that was in the summer…?” You are right, strawberry season is in the summer around here. However, when a friend of mine got an ad in the mail for our local grocery store, strawberries were listed at $0.97 a pound!! She discovered that this year Florida’s strawberry season has been very late, and is coinciding with California’s strawberry season…good news for us canners!!
Ideally, I would have loved to have gotten these strawberries more locally, maybe even from my farmer’s market, but the lure of the deal I would be getting got the best of me. At least the strawberries are from this country.
I used the recipe for Strawberry Jam by Food In Jars to process my strawberries. I loved the idea of using vanilla beans and lemon zest for a warmer, more interesting flavor. Additionally, many other recipes that I saw used much more sugar, sometimes twice as much. I like my preserves to taste more like the fruit itself then like candy.
Preserving for the first time this year showed me how much I had already learned in canning, as well as how much I have yet to learn. I know the process well, sterilize, cook, fill, process, cool. But I have so much more to learn about the art of canning. It takes so much intuition and experience. My jam turned out delicious, but a bit on the loose side. I know that as I can more and more fruits and vegetables, I will be able to tell when a recipe is not going exactly as planned, and hopefully will know how to fix the problem.
Not all was lost for this “jam”, however. Last night I threw together one of the tastiest desserts I have had in a long time…crepes with strawberry syrup and powdered sugar!
Crepes – Adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter (plus more for oiling the pan)
- dash of salt
- dash of vanilla or a bit of vanilla bean
- Mix flour and eggs as well as you can. Slowly add 1 cup of milk, whisking to eliminate lumps of flour. Add butter, salt, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
- With a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt a small bit of butter to coat. Pour 1/4-1/3 cup of crepe batter, and tilt the pan to coat the bottom. Cook until golden, then flip. When the second side is done, spread a small bit of butter over the crepe. Fold or roll crepe and place on plate. Repeat with remainder of batter.
- Lightly dust the crepes with powdered sugar, and drizzle with warm strawberry syrup (or your favorite topping). Eat all of them!!
It was so great to start the season with a big canning adventure! How do you feel about canning with food bought from the grocery store vs. local food?