OK - ever since our trip to California my boys have become strawberry snobs. Those darn berries they ate fresh from the San Jose Farmer's Market have ruined their appetites for strawberries. I thought on Saturday when we picked them we had finally conquered their snobbish ways, alas - no. They will eat strawberries but only when freshly picked. The minute they hit the refrigerator my boys will have nothing to do with them. Good thing I planted 4 rows this year. Hopefully next year we can pick a few for eating purposes. By year 3 those little berry plants better be producing like crazy. Well, at least I don't have to waste money on store bought berries unless I want some for Alan and I to eat.
Clark and Grant have no problems with jam or preserves though. At this point not sure if 8 half pints are going to see us through winter. I also made up a batch of preserves (6 half pints). I used the cute little berries we picked and left them whole (which is probably why they all floated to the top). Even with floating fruit they still look pretty. Not sure if I'll enter them or not. I did pick out and mark with warning labels the jar I would take if I do enter. I might an entry of preserves just to see what the comments are. After all the fair is about education as well as competition. I have never tried preserves before so am not sure if the consistency is right or not. It seems rather runny to me but then the jelly maybe isn't supposed to be as set as jelly? Anyway, we are looking forward to trying them on pancakes and waffles. Yum, yum!
In other news we baked up some peanut butter cookies today. Will have to do these up again. I tried them with Reese's Peanut Butter cups. Turned out yummy but their looks are not really fair standards. I'm beginning to think I will be using this year as a cookie education experience. For one reason or other I am never able to sit through cookie judging and hear judges' comments which might help my cookie baking process. It has greatly helped me in yeast bread baking (and led to me trying new things in bread baking). So I am determined to listen to cookie comments this year and take notes! However, good or bad, it is more fun to have at least a few entries when watching judging so I will continue my cookie experiments. The best thing about cookies is they are relatively fast to make, freeze easily (dough and baked product) for the most part, and not a lot dishes used. Plus, this gets me way ahead on having plenty of cookies on hand to add into meal time plans and start storing up for Christmas exchanges! My sister-in-law and I hosted our first ever Christmas Cookie Exchange last Christmas and it was so much fun! Really, I highly encourage a cookie exchange - especially if you're super busy that time of year - (really, who isn't?). Lots of cookies for your tray and you only have to make one or two kinds.
Hmm, now that I've caught up with my blogging I need to clean the kitchen - well, the break was nice while it lasted :)