There is something so special and so satisfying about picking our own fruit right off the plant and either eating it just like it is or turning it into jam in our own kitchen. Yesterday, we did just that! Paul and I packed up the kids as early as we could and headed out to a little family-owned Shlagel Farms near Waldorf, Maryland to pick strawberries. What fun! The warm sun was shining and ripening those gorgeous berries practically before our eyes. Charlie, once she got past the mud that she had to trudge through, thoroughly enjoyed everything, as did silly Judah.
Together as a family, we picked about 6 quarts. After we'd paid for those and were heading out, Paul spotted a few flats of "Day Old" berries at a ridiculous rate of $20 per flat (8 quarts). So we snatched up one of those for making jam.
We were up to our armpits in strawberries yesterday (in my tiny kitchen, although it's way better now with the recent mini-renovation), and for a little while I wondered if I'd bitten off more than I could chew. Four hours later, with Charlie's help, I'd canned 16 pints of jam and frozen 6 bags of chopped berries. We also ate a huge bowl of berries, saved a quart for this week, and gave away 2 quarts.