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Strawberry Rosemary!!

Strawberry Rosemary!!

We did it! We made our first 2010 seasonal flavor, Strawberry Rosemary, and let us tell you, friends, it was an adventure!

It all started innocently enough. Matt jumped in the car to pick up some of the first strawberries of the season, at a farm about an hour outside of Madison. Usually we have our produce delivered, but we just couldn’t wait to get started!

But Matt returned with plenty of berries! We started making our first batch the next day.

Unfortunately, this is really not how it’s supposed to look! When we developed the recipe, we were testing in February – meaning the berries weren’t so great.

Local, seasonal strawberries are juicier, tarter and sweeter than the ones you usually see. We had to completely recalibrate our plan. This batch, sadly, went down the drain. It was waaaay overcooked!

Meanwhile, as Matt was recovering from having poured 13 hours of work down the drain, an entire pallet of strawberries arrived!!

Now the clock was ticking: we had to figure out the new recipe before the berries molded – we had a few days at the most. We spent night after night in the kitchen toying and tweaking. Our gut instincts told us we needed less sugar, even though the berries were more tart. We finally got the recipe down, and it was on!

With just two days left to process all the strawberries, we frantically worked to get it all done. We didn’t want to waste a single berry.

Clare turned out to be the master huller – using this little forky thing she pulled the tops off strawberries for 9 hours in one day. Matt pulled off two 20-hour days in a row to cook and jar the entire pallet.

The process:

Clare hard at work

Looks better!

And, at last, success!


Most of the jars


As you can imagine, we’re quite excited! We produced almost 1000 jars. And, we just found out today that Wisconsin had one of the worst strawberry seasons in history, and there aren’t any more left. So now we’re thanking our lucky stars for our crazy weekend. We’re going to see if we can get our hands on any Michigan berries before the season ends – we’ll keep you posted. Who knew the lives of preserves makers could be so dramatic!

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