Finally it is strawberry season in Northwestern Pennsylvania. The shipped-in berries that have been in the grocery store for the past couple months have been so irrigated that they are huge and have very little strawberry flavor. There used to be a farm up the road from my house that sold berries that had not been irrigated, and they were absolutely the tastiest berries. But the farmer has retired, and it's back to fat, watery berries. Just the same, we get a few baskets every year and enjoy them while they are fresh.
When the girls were little, I used to can fruit and vegetables just to make the grocery dollar stretch. Now that they are out and on their own, I haven't done much canning; and I have to admit that I miss it. My cousin Audrey mentioned that she was going to put up some things this year. Then Larry's niece Gail said the same thing, so I got the bug. I went through my Farm Journal Canning and Freezing cookbook as well as my recipe box and made a list of things I'd like to preserve and the months I'll need to do it.
I have frozen a bag of berries for making Christmas jam when cranberries are available in the fall. I made some strawberry/grapefruit juice, and I think this will taste great in the winter. Here's the recipe from Country Woman magazine.
4 quarts fresh strawberries
5 to 6 medium grapefruit
1 quart water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Puree berries in food processor. Squeeze grapefruit to make 1 quart of juice; strain. In a large kettle combine strawberries, juice, water, and sugar. Cook uncovered over medium heat until the temperature reaches 190°. Remove from heat and skim, then strain. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/4" head space. Process for 15 minutes in boiling water bath. Serve chilled and undiluted.