No, not a reference to Glenn Frey's song of the same title. Literally, we STILL have the heat turned on in the house.
For you lovers of irony, today is the Summer Solstice, otherwise known as the first day of Summer.
According to National Geographic:
On the Summer Solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives more sunlight than on any other day of the year, but that doesn't mean the first day of Summer is also the hottest day of the year.
Hence the heat being turned on this morning.
I should clarify here that the day has burst forth with all sorts of promise, a gorgeous sunrise over the mountain, dappled lights on the lake, sun beams streaming through the windows. However I'll hold forth judgement as the sun shining in the Pacific Northwest can be as fickle as a 13 year old girl.
If the sun is still around this afternoon, I'll let you know.
Summer conjures all sorts of thoughts in my head. Long lazy days reading on the deck, visits to parks, bar-be-que's, and BERRIES! Since the Spring here was long, dreary, and rainy, the strawberry season has gotten off to a rather late start. Just this past weekend have we seen local berries in the markets and farmstands.
Our local darling is the Shuksan. It is super sweet, deeply red all the way through, juicy, and it's floral scent is the essence of summer. I haven't been able to get my hands on any yet so I've had to make do with some strawberries from California. They are delicious but alas, my heart belongs to another.
I made a batch of strawberry freezer jam, strawberry shortcake for Father's Day, and I have plans for a fresh strawberry pie among other things.
How about you, what do you like to do with fresh strawberries?
Strawberry Freezer Jam
makes 5, 8 ounce jars
4 pounds of strawberries, rinsed hulled and sliced
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 packet of pectin "for freezer jam"
Place the strawberries in the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You don't want to puree them completely.
In a large bowl combine the pectin and sugar, stir together until well mixed.
Add the fruit to the pectin sugar mixture and stir well for 3-5 minutes. Try not to incorporate air as you stir, you do not want a bubbly mixture.
Ladle the jam into 5, 8 ounce jars. Let the jam sit on the counter for 30 minutes then refrigerate overnight. Store what you don't plan to use right away in the freezer.
Since freezer jam showcases the flavor of the fruit you really want to use the best berries you can find.