Well, by May, we were all going stir crazy in this house, so we decided to take a little trip south of us to Verbena, Alabama. They have a U-pick Strawberry field. It was so fun, we picked 5 baskets full! The last time I picked strawberries was with my momma and grandma. I was in the second grade. I distinctly remember them in the kitchen with our freshly picked fruit, the time together, and making strawberry preserves. I have always wanted to do that with my kids, but we never seemed to have time to do it. There is something about being made to slow down and your calendar all of a sudden cleared that allows you to do the things that always seem to get put off. So, we set out early one morning to go strawberry picking.
There is a simple little mahogany box sitting in my kitchen that my uncle made me for a wedding present twenty-seven years ago. Inside are notecards with recipes on them. My mother, my mother in law, and our aunts and grandmothers wrote their favorite recipes on those notecards and placed them inside the recipe box to give to us when Steve and I got married. Several of our family members are no longer with us, and a dear, sweet aunt has Alzheimers. We have our family recipes written in their handwriting inside that recipe box and I treasure it! It just so happens that Steve’s mom wrote her strawberry preserves recipe on one of those cards and that is what Lauren and I used to make several batches with our newly picked strawberries. After his first bite, Steve looked up with a big smile and said they tasted just like his mom’s. He was so happy. Lauren and I made a total of 18 jars! I love that we have our family recipes to pass down to our children along with special memories.
Memaw’s Strawberry Preserves
1 quart strawberries
1 cup sugar
pint size mason jars
Wash and cut up strawberries. Put berries in large pot on stovetop. Boil 5 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar. Boil 10 minutes. Pour in sanitized jars and seal.