This week got away from me. On Monday, I mapped out five full days of posts in my mind and in the end, hardly managed to write a thing for this site. The combination of freelance commitments, book events and travel siphoned off my blogging time but good. Now the week is over and I’m moments away from collapse.
However, before I tumble into bed, I want to take a moment to show you that when it comes to squeezing food preservation into even the most busy days, I really and truly do practice what I preach.
On Wednesday, I met up with my friend Joy for an hour. We took a walk together and at the end, stopped by her neighborhood farmers’ market. I picked up a quart of strawberries, fully intending to eat them whole over the next couple of days.
They got a little beat up on my drive home and when I opened the fridge tonight (just after getting back from New York and being awake for 18 hours straight), I realized that they were not long for this world. So I did the thing I’ve so often recommended.
I plucked off their green leafy stems, packed them into a jar and smashed them with a wooden spoon (if they’re quite ripe, this is even easier than trying to chop or slice them). Eyeballing the volume in the jar, I estimated that I had about three cups of mashed berries. I added one cup of sugar and a split vanilla bean, put a lid on the jar and popped it into the fridge.
Instead of finding a rotten puddle in there tomorrow afternoon, I’ve placed those berries into temporary suspended animation and it took all of five minutes. They’ll hold happily like that until Sunday afternoon when I’ll be able to cook them down into jam. I’ll have something delicious instead of waste. A definite win in my book.
For a more organized and cohesive version of this recipe, check out this post from last spring.