Sunday morning, I was excited to take Jameson to our very first strawberry picking outing together. I went with my grandma a few summers, and particularly, I remember the jam that my grandma made every year the old fashioned way.
We went to a little farm about 20 minutes away as recommended by some friends who we were joining. We arrived a little early and got started. Jameson was very intent about finding the strawberries at first and declared “we have to put on our looking eyes!”
He was also very studious in making sure that the strawberries were ready, telling me “those are not ready yet” on several occasions.
After about 15 minutes, our friends arrived but were sent to a different patch further down. So we packed up the few big strawberries we found and joined them.
Jameson best buddy Nathan was there, which was very exciting for him and he immediate stopped looking for strawberries properly. Haha! He told Nathan over and over “we were looking for you!” Nathan’s family just had a new baby girl a month or so ago who joined them napping in her car seat for her first strawberry picking adventure.
The new strawberry patch was open to pick anywhere, which was nicer for the kids who weren’t restricted to one area, and also harder for the adults to keep them close. The boys loved holding their strawberry baskets and talked about how heavy the baskets were (and how strong they were).
Strawberries at the open patch were more prolific, riper, but smaller. It made for much more fun and quick picking!
We came home with more than enough strawberries to freeze for shakes later this summer or fall after the season is past. The strawberries were in great shape, with little to no bruising or rotting.
We also decided to make jam, though not the kind my grandma made as a kid. She tried to teach me, but I’m not super teachable when it comes to cooking. I have baking down pretty good, since it requires exact measurements, but regular cooking usually requires more effort for me.
Nathan’s mother Megan offered to show me how to make freezer jam which doesn’t require cooking the strawberries or sterilizing the jars for sealing, and she invited us over the following evening for a lesson. Jameson was so excited to see Nathan twice; “that’s so crazy!” he yelled excitedly on our way there. Nathan is out of school for the summer, so Jameson hadn’t seen him in a couple weeks.
Jameson got to help smash the strawberries and do some stirring before the hot part with the gelatin. The boys enjoyed some of the finished product at the end on fresh bread Megan made earlier, which was delicious.
Between freezer jam and our frozen strawberries, I’m looking forward to enjoying the taste of summer strawberries for months to come. We’ll be back again next year for sure!