Brooding On

Mamaw's Strawberry Preserves

So, Friday I picked us up a flat of these berries.  All that's left are about 10 berries which will top our cereal in the morning.  I did use 4 cups to make a batch of these preserves, but other than that, we've gobbled the rest of them down in basically a weekend.
I was pretty excited to try this new-to-me recipe for strawberry preserves.  It comes to me through my Mamaw, who got it years ago from her friend Virginia Lou, who got it from her mother . . . It's a time-honored recipe. 

I love it for 3 big reasons:
1.  It's delicious!
2.  All the ingredients (and there are only 3)  are natural
3.  It is processed in two separate steps (which seems to make it a less daunting task.)

Bring 4 c. of crushed berries (I used a potato masher) and 1 tsp. Oleo* to a rolling boil.  Boil for 3 minutes.  Add 2 c. sugar, stir well, and hard for 3 minutes.  Add 2 more cups of sugar, stir well, and boil for another 3 minutes. 

*This is not the first time I've gotten a recipe from my Mamaw that calls for Oleo.  The first time, though, I had to look it up because I had no idea what it was.  Here's what I learned: if a recipe calls for Oleo, it is probably at least 50 years old.  Oleo usually refers to the Oleomargerine that was designed as a vegetable-based, more economical substitute for butter.  Interestingly, when this margarine was first marketed, it was white because those in the dairy industry didn't want people to confuse margarine for butter and had legislation passed against the coloring of margarine.  So, basically Oleo refers to margarine.  I actually used a pat of butter in my preserves this time.  Its job in this recipe is to minimize the foam you have to skim off after the rolling boil.

Remove from heat and skim.  Let stand overnight.  (I love this part of the recipe because it breaks the process down into two parts, the preserve cooking and the canning.  Usually, when I can something, I have to block off a huge chunk of time to produce the food then can it.  But, I was able to whip up the preserves in about 15 minutes Saturday, then can them Sunday morning while we were all getting ready for church.)

The next morning, process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes.  (You could also freeze it.)

We've already enjoyed it on toast, and Mamaw says its thinner consistency makes it a good topping for icecream, too.  Maybe once I make us some goat milk frozen yogurt, we'll give that a try!

Thanks, Mamaw, for yet another great recipe!