"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Strawberry Mama

The strawberries are ripe. We're eating them at every meal now after our big trip the u-pick farm. We always mean to look further afield and one year we went to our CSA's organic field for them but we usually end up at Jones Farm like we did this year. The taste of a field-ripe strawberry is cliche but it still has to be remembered every single year that they are so, so, so much better than the ones we buy in the grocery store all winter to tide ourselves over.

Yesterday I finished putting the last of the jars of freezer jam into the freezer. A joined us around the dining room table this year and helped mash berries and boil pectin with the boys and I. Said he truly had no idea there was exactly that much sugar in jam. Heh. Now you know why I substitute that low-sugar pectin stuff that I buy at Whole Foods, eh buddy?

It does make me feel good to have him start noticing how much sugar is in a given food, not just have me be the food-nazi around the house, always on everyone's case about "feeding the children good things." Nobody likes to be the lone policeman. To be fair though, despite my very wholesome nutritional training there was a time when I was in his shoes, not paying much attention to what went into the jam.

Once as a teen I made jam(one of my favorite summer activities) with one of my best chums whose mom was a devoted naturist hippie type, committed to real foods and the avoidance of processed goods. We'd been out picking wild strawberries together which was all very idyllic and then ended the day in my parents kitchen, with everything we'd picked, intent on making them into jam. My friend balked at the amount of sugar in the recipe and told me that her mom would never go for that....and asked me if we could possibly substitute a smaller amount of honey or fruit juice or even skip the sweetener all together. At the time I didn't exactly get it but here I am, mama of my own domain and retroactively impressed by my friend's scruples and I kinda wish we'd just eaten those little berries raw and fresh instead of boiling the daylights out of them with a wagon load of sugar on top. I hope my own little boys learn the same standards my friend espoused, even when her mom wasn't watching. That's what Pamona's Universal Pectin is all about I guess....at least as far as jam is concerned.

So, there is jam, and there are plenty of "leftover" fresh berries and last night there was even a pie. And for breakfast tomorrow, I'm going to have some strawberries in cream...just a little maple syrup drizzled on top to keep it on the straight and narrow. You haven't lived until you've eaten fresh berries in cream.
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