Sunday, June 25, 2017
Sunday, June 25,2017: Rainy Day Strawberry Jam
This year may be the longest lasting Spring on record. The temperatures have been mostly cool and rainy, with an occasional warm, humid day. Because of this, and the delay in our planting the gardens, I am behind on putting by jam.
Yesterday, Peter and I ventured West to visit our Mennonite friends who grow exceptional strawberries. In luck, they had a flat (8 quarts) ready to sell. Today, I began the long process of making Rainy Day Strawberry Jam.
Our whole farmhouse smells incredibly fragrant and the jam is out of this world. Strawberry jam is tricky. The fruit, perfect as it may be, doesn't have a lot of natural pectin. It throws a a pink foam in the cooking down process. Patience is needed. If you aren't patient, then don't undertake this. You have to wait, and I mean wait, until there is a glossy sheen to the bubbling strawberry stew. Slowly, it will thicken up. So far, 4 quarts gave us 92 oz. The jars are lined up on the counter cooling. I love hearing the pop, pop, pop of the lids. I have another 4 quarts to process; then, back to the Johnson Creek Farm on Monday to pick up our second flat. I love this work.
Later this afternoon at 4 p.m., free and open to public, I will be giving a poetry reading at Books, ETC on Main Street in Macedon NY, L.John Cieslinski, my good friend, fellow poet, wise man in all aspects of life, runs this cozy establishment where he hosts many readings and discussion groups. It's always a joy to see John and pick up a book or two. Reading makes all the difference in the world.
If you free and in the area, please join us. I will be reading from my latest poetry collection, Small Worlds Floating (Cherry Grove Collections, 2016). I will have books available for sale and signing.