Really good strawberry preserves is like putting summer in your mouth. Bright and fresh. Eating it on from-scratch biscuits is one of my favorite breakfast foods. It’s simple, I don’t need utensils to eat it, and there’s minimal cleanup. We planted a strawberry bed years ago and happily gather all the berries it puts forth to make this wonderful preserves.
I’m not big on sweets but love (too much so according to my circumference) bread and pasta so I’m cutting back. From-scratch biscuits with homemade preserves are definitely carb worthy though. That’s my new catch phrase – carb worthy. So now if GC asks “would you like a ham sandwich on some of that styrofoam tasting white grocery store bread?” I’d say “no thanks honey, it’s not carb worthy”. But if GC asks “would you like a sandwich made with some of our home-cured bacon and warm from the garden red tomatoes on some of your awesome homemade whole wheat bread?” then “yes please!”
Get the difference?
Now, GC normally doesn’t describe sandwiches so vividly….okay actually never, but I know what he means when he says “ham on white or BT on your bread?”
If you have never canned before I suggest getting Ball’s Blue Book to learn how. It’s what I learned from years ago and still refer back to.
Please remember the #1 rule of cooking – READ THE ENTIRE RECIPE FIRST!
Strawberry Preserves with Vanilla Bean adapted from Ball’s Blue Book
2 qts. Strawberries
1 pkg. powdered pectin
¼ cup finely chopped lemon
¼ cup water
6 ½ cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
Split vanilla bean and scrape out seeds. Combine the bean pod and seeds with all the ingredients except the sugar. I put everything in a bowl and leave in the frig. for a day to infuse more of the vanilla. It’s not a standout flavor but in my opinion does add something extra to regular strawberry preserves. Fish the bean pod out of the strawberry mixture.
When ready to process, bring strawberry mixture to a boil, stirring often. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved and return to a hard boil (one that can’t be stirred down). Boil hard for 1 minute and remove from heat. Skim the foam if there is any. Stir another 3 minutes to spread the fruit out evenly. Ladle into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Adjust the 2 piece caps and process 15 minutes in a water bath canner.
Buttermilk Biscuits these are the biscuits my Dad made almost every Sunday morning
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. soda
1/4 cup butter or shortening
3/4 cup of buttermilk
Combine flour, baking powder, salt and soda in bowl. Cut in butter until mixture looks coarse like cornmeal. Stir in buttermilk until all sticks together. Turn out onto floured surface and knead 5 or 6 times gently. Flour your rolling pin and roll out to about 1/2 inch thick. Cut out with whatever you have handy, I use either a 2-inch biscuit cutter, a glass or sometimes I just cut into squares. I usually get 9-10 biscuits. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450 degrees F. until tops are golden brown and sides are splitting.