We went strawberry picking last weekend. I have to admit strawberries are something I really struggle to grow well. I think this is probably for a number of reasons. Partially limitations around space, partially limitations around sunlight, but mostly limitations around my level of care and attention (ie the slugs seem to get all the best fruit….). As a result of all this neglect I tend to outsource strawberry growing to the professionals and this means a number of trips to the pick your own in Bacchus Marsh.
Now I have to say that as much as I enjoyed this years pick I don’t think the quality was as good as in previous years. Not sure if this is because:
- A few years ago I was so excited to eat a variety other than ‘Elsanta’, which is pretty much the only strawberry variety which you can get easily in the UK, that anything tasted good.
- This just not a great season.
- That the Bacchus Marsh strawberry farm has ….shock horror….switched varieties.
This year the berries seemed much bigger but not nearly so flavourful. Now this might be a result of the wet winter but Spring has been dry so I’m not too sure about that theory. Maybe someone will be able to provide insight?
Strawberry picking in my house basically means the kids run up and down the rows filling as many containers as possible as quickly as possible while eating as many as possible as they go. That is pretty much how things went last week which meant we left with far too many strawberries to just eat fresh. At $9kg they were just about cheap enough to consider making jam and that’s exactly what I did. Or at least that’s what I did if you consider strawberry syrup with fruit lumps jam. Luckily I do and here it is:
There are more jars but I do like to photograph things in 3s when I can.
My mother always tells me that strawberry jam is hard, naturally I usually dismiss her concerns in a display of bravado. Well it turns out she is right, and not for the first time either. I have made strawberry syrup for the past 3 years. This time though I’ve done some research (after making the jam…) and apparently the key is ensuring the jam reaches the right temperature and then it will gel. That would be in the bit in the recipe that said ‘hard boil the jam for 5 minutes’, only I couldn’t because I’d over filled my pot and hard boiling would have resulted in a sticky mess (or more of a sticky mess) to clean off the stove. So now I have some lovely strawberry syrup which luckily tastes delicious mixed through greek yoghurt. Life is good.