Saturday, May 29, 2010

Saturday Specials

We have Italian Wedding Soup and Gazpacho for soup today.

In the pastry case are Carrot Nut Scones, Walnut Scones with Raspberry Jam and a Traditional Cream Scone with Raisins and a hint of lemon.

The local strawberry season has started a couple weeks early and both of our CSA farms are having pre-season strawberry pick-up! From One Straw Farm we got beautiful, large berries and are offering them with a splash of sweetened cream with either steel cut oatmeal or our homemade yogurt. The Cromwell Valley CSA has produced precious, gem-like berries that are perfect for preserving whole. Strawberries have very little natural pectin so if you want a jam-like preserve pick up a box of Certo®, otherwise the following recipe will produce strawberries in a thick syrup that is fabulous over ice cream, pancakes, pound cake, pork roast.... you get the idea.

Strawberry Preserves
Clean and hull strawberries. In a non-metallic bowl, layer berries with sugar 1:1 (one pound berries, one pound sugar) beginning and ending with a layer of sugar. Drizzle two tablespoon of acid for every pound of berries (lemon juice is typical, balsamic vinegar is also crazy good) over the sugar/berry mix. Cover and let sit 4-12 hours. Gently give a stir about half way though if you think about it.

Transfer the now liquid mixture to a heavy kettle and gently bring to a boil. Keep mixture at a low boil until it reaches 220° on a candy thermometer. DO NOT WALK AWAY! This is very prone to boiling over so keep a close eye on it, lowering the heat as needed to keep the mixture in the pot. Try not to stir, but if you must do it gently.

Ladle into sterilized jars and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.