Yes, we can!
The great thing about working from home is that there is no one else to distract you with office chit-chat, pointless meetings and the like. The problem is that YOU are there to distract you, with things like making strawberry preserves. Last week, I got up from my computer station to look for a phone number and after making a berry clafouti and some pancake batter for the weekend, I had to think hard about what I had gotten up to do in the first place. Yesterday, it was strawberry preserves. I was delighted to run across the website for Preserve, a Portland-based duo dedicated to preserving, uh,…preserving! It just so happened that I had in the fridge already washed, cut berries, from our garden!
We had picked a nice sized basket of berries last weekend. It was thrilling for Little Miss, who did the honors, sampling as she went. Maybe we picked them one hair early because they weren’t super sweet. However, I was concerned that the ants and birds would profit most if we waited another week.
Anyway, our gorgeous, but not overly sweet berries were good candidates for this quick and easy recipe for preserves.
I brought 3 cups of sliced berries, 1 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil in a 10-12″ skillet, stirring occasionally, then reduced heat, stirred frequently and let cook 8-10 minutes as mixture thickened (I didn’t bother to skim foam; there wasn’t much). Then, I applied the cold plate trick: I put a spoonful of the strawberry mixture on an ice cold plate and waiting 30 seconds and then tilted. It didn’t run down the side so it was thick enough.
When cooled, I spooned the preserves into two small, clean jars. This will keep 2-3 weeks in the fridge, but won’t last that long!