Addie and I joined some friends for a morning of strawberry picking last week.  When we made these plans I thought that it would be fun for Addie, but unless those strawberry plants were about five feet tall, I wouldn’t be bending my very pregnant butt over to crawl around a field and pick berries.  Then I got out there and I saw all of the gorgeous, shiny, juicy red berries – many of which Addie was passing up for mushy berries or green berries – and I was forced to join the fun.  I’m that much of a control freak, apparently, that I can’t just let my kid pick the berries that make her happy and call it a day.  I have to get involved and make sure she finds the best berry in the entire field.  It is not a contest.

The girls did a great job picking fruit and filling their little buckets.  When Addison collected more than a dozen berries, she would complain that her bucket was too heavy and empty it into my bucket.  If I didn’t act fast enough the bucket would very dramatically fall from her arm, spilling berries to the ground.  Then she would stand there and supervise while her friend rushed over to pick up every last strawberry. 

Long day in the fields

 

This excursion could not have come at a better time.  I came across this recipe  for Strawberry Jam a few weeks ago and I’ve been itching to try it.  I had actually planned to buy a few pounds of strawberries at Sam’s Club this week solely for this purpose.

After two full days and four stores I was beginning to give up on my dream of homemade strawberry jam.  I couldn’t find pectin anywhere.  I visited two supermarkets, a Super Target and Hobby Lobby with no luck.  I was about to give up and make a 10 dozen strawberry cupcakes just to use the berries before they grew hair, when I decided to give Super Wal-Mart a try.  If you’re planning to make jam anytime soon, let me save you a lot of time and mileage on your car.  You can find the pectin at Super Wal-Mart in the baking aisle.  I’m not sure it exists anywhere else in the whole world.  

Addie was my helper in the kitchen, naturally.  She mashed the berries, sealed the jars and acted as quality control inspector.

And to prove to my daughter that I wasn’t a total control freak, I didn’t grab the masher from her to smooth out the lumps that she missed.  Although I may have been very, very tempted.

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