I know it isn't the usual time of year to be making strawberry preserves, but that's what I'm doing, nonetheless. There's a guy who runs a fruit market at the Seventh Street Flea Market in Louisville who calls Thomas when he has a good deal on strawberries. Thomas got a good deal a few years ago and made the BEST strawberry wine we've ever had. He usually has those deals in October, but not in 2011.
He called us with a great deal on pineapples a month ago, so Thomas has some pineapple wine in the works, along with his grape, pear, and crab apple. But two weeks ago he called with strawberries! He wasn't offering a price that we thought was good enough, so we declined. Then Sunday he called with a price of $5 a flat (about 8+ pounds of strawberries per flat). So we bought five flats. OH MY GOODNESS, those are the BEST strawberries. They are just at the right stage of ripeness, juicy, and sweet. We don't have the room to make any more wine right now, and besides, they are really too good for that, so I figured I'd make preserves -- enough to last us a few years. (Frozen a couple pounds and kept a couple pounds out just for eating as well.)
Anyway, my house smells like a strawberry patch today. And I'm not complaining.
When Mom made preserves she would usually make a pan of biscuits at the same time. Quite often you might have a few ounces of preserves left over; not quite enough for a jar. That's when a pan of home made biscuits and some willing participants came in handy. As I was cooking them today, when that pink foam started to form at the top of the pan, I was transported back to my Mom's kitchen, standing on a chair next to her at the stove, helping to stir or waiting to lick the wooden stir spoon, and then later, throughout the afternoon waiting to hear that first jar seal, telling you that you did it right.
Hope these turn out well!