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Strawberry Jam and Raspberry Custard

| 6/26/2013 10:06:15 PM

Strawberry Jam and Raspberry Custard

VernSummer is here and this ten year old is happier than a pig in -- well, a pig in his pen. Strawberries are in bountiful supply with the patches around Dad and Mom's little farm are being visited every day to "pick your own."  It seems everything ripens and matures at the same time. No sooner do the strawberries taper off when the first picking of raspberries are ready. In between all this there are sour cherries and sweet cherries.

It is a smart thing, especially as a mischievous boy like myself, to be really nice and help my parents, especially in June. I am not able to pick a lot of the fresh fruits from the surrounding farms, something about child labor laws, but there are no restrictions on eating. 

Mom makes a shortbread kind of thing for our strawberry shortcake. She calls it a "happy day cake", and it is all that we needed. She makes it several times during the week, and we enjoyed this moist yellow cake. Cut a three inch square, place it in a bowl and the fun begins. The berries always were sliced and sweetened. After a time in the refrigerator, to draw juice, they were ready. Place them on a warm slice of happy day cake, sprinkle sugar on top even though it was not needed, and pour cold milk over everything, that is how we eat this most wonderful June treat.

Strawberry season is almost over, and I am ready for Mom to move on to another sweet treat. But wait, she has one more trick up her sleeve. Strawberry jam. Just saying this makes me want to toast some bread. The making of jam is one of my most vivid memories.

One final trip to the field is made, and we pick three more quarts of nice firm berries. They are capped and our job is done. This is a big peoples job: a very difficult job, and very scary. Don't  ever, ever let it boil over. Here is what she does:

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