Thursday, June 7, 2012

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard..........6/07/2012

Since half of my strawberry plants were moved and half are new roots this year, I am not anticipating enough strawberries to keep "The Italian" happy for a year. So, last Friday I went to an Organic Pick Your Own Strawberry Farm to pick some strawberries for canning and freezing. I picked 16 pounds of fresh strawberries. Needless to say, there were a lot of things strawberry going on around here this past week!

First, I made some Strawberry Jam following Daphne's recipe from last week. I usually use pectin in my jam and I think I was a little short on the amount of lemon juice needed. I also added about 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Balsamic Vinegar to the recipe. The vinegar is supposed to bring out the flavor of the strawberries. The jam tasted wonderful, but it was a little too runny. I ended up re-making it with some added pectin and now it is fine. I really think the Balsamic Vinegar gave it a great flavor.

Next, I made some Strawberry Syrup. Daphne posted about making this last week also. I used 4 Cups of crushed Strawberries, 2 Cup of Sugar and 1 1/2 Tbsp. of Balsamic Vinegar. The mixture was cooked for a few minutes until the Strawberries were soft. Next, I strained it with a jelly bag, returned it to the pan and cooked it down until it was more syrup like. It is wonderful!


Next on the list was Strawberry Infused Vodka. This is in the large jar on the left in the picture above. "The Italian" and I have made infused vodkas in the past, but never Strawberry Vodka. 


I found a recipe that called for 1 1/4 lbs. of Strawberries to 750ml. of Vodka. I used 1 lb. of Strawberries to 2 Cups of Vodka, since that's all that would fit in the jar. This is very easy to make. Just chop the strawberries, put them in the jar and add the vodka. Cover the jar and keep in a cool dark place for 3-5 days, stirring daily. I didn't stir it and it turned out great. When the vodka is ready, strain and return to a glass container. The Strawberry Vodka would be wonderful with a little Strawberry Syrup and some seltzer or to make a Strawberry Martini! We decided to save it for our special Gardening Blogging visitors this coming Monday! 

"The Italian" found a great Strawberry & Avocado Salsa recipe in a magazine to be served with Chipotle Grilled Pork Tenderloin. He and his daughter made this last Sunday for dinner. It was delicious!

Strawberry & Avocado Salsa
  • 4 Cups Quartered Strawberries
  • 1 1/3 Cups Chopped Peeled Avocado (about 1 large)
  • 1/4 Cup thinly sliced Green Onions
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped Fresh Cilantro (recipe calls for 1/4 Cup)
  • 3 Tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
  • Salt
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss gently.

The recipe for this salsa and pork can also be found here.


Other things Strawberry this week were Vanilla Ice Cream with Strawberry Syrup and fresh Strawberries, lots of plain Strawberries and Strawberry Shortcake. I also froze and vacuum sealed  four 1 1/2 lb. packages of fresh strawberries for later use. 

What's been going in or out of your Kitchen Cupboard lately???


48 comments:

  1. Oh yum. The funny thing is that my strawberry jam over gelled just a tad. It is still good though, but I like a soft gel. I still haven't made pancakes to put the syrup on yet. I keep wanting too, but not doing it.

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    1. It's a cool morning. I think you should make those pancakes today!

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  2. These look and sound soooo good. I have very few strawberries this year as well. I bought some rhubarb yesterday (because I just planted mine this year) I'm planning to make a strawberry rhubarb pie this weekend. Curious where you go to pick your own. Most of the places down here are expensive and get picked out within hours.

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    1. I went to Oley Valley Organics. It was the only organic PYO Strawberry farm that I could find. I think their strawberries are about done though. They also have asparagus and raspberries.

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  3. Hi Robin - hope you and hubby are doing well! We're still waiting for strawberry season to arrive here in Vermont. I've yet to be able to get a decent harvest of homegrown strawberries. Hopefully that will change one day.

    The balsamic vinegar sounds wonderful! Question on the Vodka...something I've always wondered - when you infuse liquor with berries, do you just toss the berries after it's done steeping?

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    1. Hey Thomas, yes, we are all doing well. Thanks for asking. Yes, toss the berries after it's done steeping. They have very little color left and look pretty bad. It's always nice to add a fresh berry in the drink though!

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  4. It all sounds heavenly! Just eating fresh strawberries sounds pretty darn good to me! I have fat green fruit on the strawberry plants but the weather has been raining and gloomy for the past many days and Not a hint of ripening is occuring as a result.

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    1. Fresh strawberries are definitely the best! Sophia and I have eaten every single berry picked at the plots. They just never seem to make it home!

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  5. I am sooooo hungry for fresh strawberries, and my plants are just putting out piddly little fruits that even the birds won't eat. It looks like I'll have to wait for their second blooming to get anything from them. I'm afraid I'm going to have to invest in a different variety next year.

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    1. Too bad Granny. What variety do you have planted?

      I checked on my new plants just two days ago and they are setting more fruit then I expected! Once the warm weather returns, I may be up to my ears in strawberries!

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    2. Mine are a day neutral (everbearing) variety, Tristar. I've been threatening to switch to a June bearing. I do like getting berries all through the summer, sometimes right up until Thanksgiving, but the largest one day picking I ever had was 17 ounces. I have to save them by freezing for jam making.

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    3. Granny, we prefer our June berries. Strawberries already take so much work. June berries are great 'cause we get in, get out and then we're done with it. If it's not enough then we'll go to the local U-pick and pay for the extras.

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  6. Strawberries are so delicious and you are doing some great things with them. I need to find a PYO around here because I do not have a strawberry bed yet. Thanks for sharing those recipes; we've only ate them fresh or as a jelly.

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    1. Once you do have a strawberry bed, I bet the little ones (and adults) will eat them as soon as they ripen!

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  7. That jam and syrop looks wonderful. I also made first 3 small jars of it, and will probably follow your example and go pick at the farm.

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    1. The farm that I picked at last week is already closed for PYO. You better find a farm soon! Strawberry season is a little early this year.

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  8. everything sounds and looks great! I have a lot of flowers out in the strawberry patch, but no berries yet!

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    1. It's cold up your way! Don't worry, you will have berries before you know it. Then you'll have lots of canning and freezing to do!

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  9. Strawberry jam is my favorite. I'm jealous!

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    1. I guess you will have to envy mine :)

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  10. We seem to have plenty of strawberries setting - if only they would ripen!

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    1. Hopefully you will get some warmer weather and your strawberries will ripen. It's been a strange year weather wise for all of us!

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  11. Strawberry vodka? Yum! We're still waiting for berries in the PNW.

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    1. You can make all kinds of vodka. One year "The Italian" and I made Weeniechello for my son as a joke gift for Christmas. It's hot dog infused vodka!

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  12. It's just starting up here but we'll go this weekend :)

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    1. Good, Have a great time and make lots of goodies!

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  13. Oh! I wish I can have strawberries like you! I can get only 4-6 each day with holes from ants (probably) :)

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    1. I wish these were my strawberries. I picked these at a farm. My strawberry bed is new and I'm not expecting a big harvest this year.

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  14. Oh yum. Strawberry vodka sounds dangerous to me!

    We just put in some strawberry plants this year... looking at your harvests, I cannot wait for them to produce!

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    1. The strawberry vodka is wonderful! You will be very happy once your strawberries start producing!

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  15. Do you have a recipe for strawberries that have one chipmunk sized bite out of them? Cause as much as I have netted and covered, the buggers still got into the new patch. Now I have strawberry envy. And I love strawberries. Your goodies look so tasty.

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    1. Nope, I haven't found a recipe for those! Don't those critters realize that we don't like to share???

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  16. You've had a busy week with strawberries! I would be overwhelmed with 16 lbs of strawberries. Everything sounds very delicious.. especially those strawberry martinis.

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    1. Yes it's been a berry busy week! We can't wait to make those martinis!

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  17. Sounds like a berry busy couple of days in your kitchen, home made strawberry jam ........just delish and interesting the little vinegar makes a difference.
    We have such hot summers that Iv'e never been very successful with any types of berries(have also tried blue and raspberries)but have been so impressed with the many posts on strawberries over the last 2 weeks.
    Ok it may be time to buy new plants and establish a brand new bed or else visit a farm like yourself.
    Hope you have a great Bloggers Day in your garden........

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    1. Yes, it's definitely been berry busy around here! It sounds like it's time to establish that new strawberry bed.

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  18. I'm with Jane. Our strawberries were covered from day one. This tiny little vole has been hunting down the very best ones and taking a share. We resorted to taking the netting off and hoping Sydney will get it. No luck yet!

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    1. We can't wait to see you, the infusion is an added bonus!

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    2. I hope that Sydney gets the job done soon! We can't wait to see you too!

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  19. All those strawberry goodies sound wonderful, you sure had a very busy period, picking and processing. Love the vodka idea. I only get a small amount of berries each day and they frequently get eaten before entering the kitchen.

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    1. The vodka is really good. You're not the only one who eats the berries before they get to the house! Who can resist such a treat??

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  20. Great recipes. I made plum vodka this year which have been slowly drinking and I have to say it is absolutely delicious. It was plums, sugar and vodka - can't believe how well it worked.

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    1. Thanks Liz, We've made infused vodkas in the past and sometimes add sugar to them. I think this is good without it though. They are definitely easy to make!

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  21. Oh man...everything looks so delicious! I just might have to purchase some strawberries, too...we won't get nearly enough from the garden to match the bounty you have there...and I'm so inspired!

    Hope you're having a wonderful weekend!

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    1. Thanks Bee Girl, I hope that you got out there and got some strawberries this weekend!!! Then you can do some canning!

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  22. Has any one heard from Jeff from "out engineered Garden"? I miss his posts and am worried about him.

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    1. Jeff is doing well as said that "EG will return soon"!!

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  23. Everything that you have made sounds terrific. I make strawberry infused vodka each summer...it is so great.

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