Strawberry Days

Banana 'helping' pick strawberries

I just want to say that I have had the yummiest week! The girls and I went strawberry picking on Tuesday to ELKS Farm. It is so close to Edmonton (just north of St. Albert), the owners were kind and the farm was very child-friendly. The Bear and Banana snacked their way through the rows of strawberries while I picked. We purchased $25 worth of strawberries – a price that I have no problem paying since the girls ate up so many berries.

Then it was jam-making time. We had enough strawberries to do three batches. I did a conventional strawberry jam and one that combined the raspberries from our backyard with the strawberries. Then we got creative by adding mint from our garden with lemon zest and pepper. The recipe is listed below.

If this is slow parenting, I’m in my element. The farm was beautiful and it was so great to get out of the city. We even caught a frog among the strawberry bushes. The girls were exposed to that all-important element of slow food – know where your food comes from. And there is so much satisfaction in creating from scratch. As I gobbled up warm leftover jam on homemade bread last night (one of the many reasons I will never be skinny!), I was moved by the fact that I was eating something completely pure, local and all of my creation. And the taste, well, it is indescribable.

Strawberry Jam with Mint, Pepper and Lemon Zest

2 pounds sliced strawberries (approximately 6 cups sliced)
lemon zest from one lemon
2/3 cup lemon juice (I squeezed juice from the lemon and then topped it up)
1 box (57 grams) of pectin
4 3/4 cups sugar
8 large mint leaves, hand shredded (or about ¼ cup shredded leaves)
2 tsp ground pepper

Instructions
1. Prepare canning jars. Directions are here.
2. Bring strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, and pectin to a boil in thick-bottomed pot until pectin is dissolved.
3. Add sugar and stir constantly. Jam should get to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute.
4. Skim off foam.
5. Add mint and pepper
6. Ladle into jars and secure seals and rings. Place jars back into water bath and boil for 10 minutes. Take jam from water bath without tilting (use canning tongs) and let rest for 24 hours.

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4 Responses to “Strawberry Days”


  1. 1 Luisa June 13, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Where is the farm and what is the website?

    Thanks!
    Luisa

  2. 2 roma July 21, 2011 at 10:40 am

    All I can say is YUM!

  3. 3 Doré July 21, 2011 at 8:19 am

    Yummy! Please bring some of your jam with the lemon, pepper, and mint to the lake this weekend. I would love to try it, if you don’t mind sharing. It sounds wonderful.


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