Claire's Strawberry Preserves

| 6/13/2013 3:54:00 PM

Claire with strawberriesKnowing the people who grow your food is a beautiful thing. Learning from them is even better. I have been particularly fortunate in that respect lately.

When we originally paid for our CSA (community supported agriculture) share, we’d vowed to pick 50 dollars’ worth of fruit during its duration. Since it is, after all, strawberry season, we decided to pick 30 dollars of strawberries and make preserves with them. The woman who runs the farm we have a CSA share in, Mrs. Miller, had sent out her recipe for strawberry preserves with one of our latest CSA boxes, and I decided to try it.

We drove to the farm, and I spoke with Mrs. Miller there. She shared how she used to bike over to visit her grandmother every day after school, and they would cook together. They made those strawberry preserves often in the warm days of May and June, over the years. She makes them still.

And so, after all these years, the preserves found their way to me.

The most important thing to bear in mind when picking strawberries for the preserves, Mrs. Miller said, is to use small berries. Since preserves use the whole berry, not cut as they are in jam, you can’t have berries bigger than a mouthful.

You can imagine how happy this made me. If we were only using small strawberries in the preserves, after all, I was allowed to eat some big ones, which I’m not usually With thanks to Mrs. Miller, we set off to pick in the dewy, muddy fields.

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