Saturday, July 21, 2012

Picture Books for Strawberry Season

We read Barbara M. Joosse's Jam Day, the story of a young boy and his mother, returning to her family home for an annual day of strawberry picking, and jam making with extended family, to go along with our latest harvest of strawberries.  Strawberry season arrives late in Montana, giving us fresh, sweet, strawberries through most of July.

We enjoyed Jam Day.  It's simple, and slightly old fashioned, but a nice look at family traditions, and how even a small family of two, can become a large, happy, boisterous group when joined together with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

I was a little disappointed there wasn't a recipe for strawberry jam at the back of the book, or for "Granpap's world famous biscuits", made by the boy and his grandfather to serve with their jam in the story.  If any story needs a go-along recipe, this is one.

Joan D'Amico offers a semi-child friendly recipe for strawberry freezer jam, with a simple explanation of pectin, and how it helps to transform fruit, and sugar into "delicious jams and jellies" in The Science Chef.

We opted for an even easier microwave recipe (click here for the recipe) again this year, skipping the pectin, and the stove top, and thanks to a lack of planning on my part...

...even the lemon juice, this year.  According to everything I've read about the amount of pectin in strawberries, and their need for either added pectin, or lemon juice to help release their own pectin (the structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants used as a gelling agent in jam - per Wikipedia) this should not have worked...

...but the jam turned out fine even without the lemon juice, proving once again, when it comes to science - even kitchen science - research should always be followed, and verified by experimentation.

Since we didn't have any of "Granpap's world famous biscuits" to serve with our jam, I whipped up a batch of strawberry muffins (using the Best ever Muffin recipe from with a teaspoon of vanilla and a cup of sliced strawberries added in).

Then it was off to the library to pick up a few picture books, this time with recipes, before strawberry season passes us by.  Now we're looking forward to some good reading, as well as a strawberry cake...

...and a couple of batches of strawberry shortcake.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

Linked with What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows, Mouse Learns.


Brenna said...

A strawberry theme is great. My preschool students did an entire week on strawberries. Here is just one of the fun games they played There were more activities and yummy snacks, too.

Phyllis said...

It is interesting to see that strawberry season varies a lot from area to area. We have ours in late May-Early June. Now we are on to peaches!
Those muffins look really yummy!!

Ticia said...

It really is interesting on strawberry season, ours is March-April. It's making more sense now how we can buy fresh strawberries at the store year round.

I think I might have that last book in my library somewhere. I must try and dig it up.

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

This post made me crave strawberry jam! Thanks for joining WMCIR!