Cookin' With Leo
Granny's Strawberry Preserves
Ya'll jest might know it, but a few days ago, I was enjoyin' the great, West Texas, outdoors, on the back patio a'course, with a tall cool one, when who should show up but my Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother. "Well", I thought. "What's she doing here? She should be at the annual Fairy Convention that takes place every summer, wherever that takes place."
Without waiting for my question, of course, she just came right out with it.
"Hey, li'l bambino, watcha' doin' wastin' time sittin' out here?"
As you might guess I wasn't about to question where she came from, when she swatted me along side my head with that magic wand of hers and gave me the message to look in granny's old recipe book to find out what she did with all the fresh strawberries that are around this time of year. Well that swat did wake me up so I did go to my abundant files and folders of Granny's old recipes to see what she had to say about fresh springtime fruits and berries and to my surprise I found this very simple recipe. And that brought back all sort of good memories of good things to eat.
"Well, gee, Dear Sweet Italian Fairy Godmother, I wasn't really wastin' time, I was just stayin' (she always understands my redneck dropped 'g's since I always understand her Italian dropped 'g's ) out of the Hot West Texas sun, and keepin' cool so to speak."
"Hey li'l bambino, you no gonna' fool me, we both know it's jesta' too early to get cool in West Texas, you gonna' hafta' do that when summer really come down here."
"Yea, well I know all that, but I was just getting' in practice for the real hot times."
"Hey, come on now, still some springtime down here, you should be where I come from."
So, here is a quaint and simple recipe on what to do with the left over quart of fresh strawberries after you gobble down the first quart with milk and sugar.
Here is what you need:
1 quart of strawberries, and be sure they are not too ripe or soft; a few greener ones won't hurt a bit. they will add the necessary pectin
1 ½ tablespoons cider vinegar
4 cups sugar.
A minute timer.
And Here is how you do it:
Wash the berries and remove green stems, slice them in half, or if they are very large berries, slice them in thirds or quarters. Use a heavy 4 quart pan and place the berries and vinegar in the pan. Bring up the heat very quickly and let them boil for exactly 3 minutes, no more, no less. Shake the pan ever so often so the berries do not stick to the pan.
And when it's cool this fall you can enjoy the Strawberry Preserves on Texas Toast.
Remove from heat while you add the sugar.
Bring up the heat fast to bring to a full rolling boil and boil for 6 minutes by the clock. While cooking shake the pan in a circular motion to plump the berries. Never use a spoon or mash them with a spoon. When the 6 minutes are up remove them from the heat, cover them and allow to stand overnight.
Have at least 6 half pint jars ready and sterilized the next morning. Heat the berries to boiling and then pack them into the hot sterilized jars. Seal the jars with hot paraffin.
Store in a cool dark place.