Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jars of Sunshine

Sorry for the radio silence on the blog as of late. I have been super busy with commitments and blogging has not fit into the schedule as I had hoped. The seasons have drastically changed here. We went from a super chilly summer into a couple of short lived heat waves after summer was officially over. Then, the temperatures around here dropped like a rock and the rains returned to the San Francisco Bay area. This weekend is supposed to be rainy just like last weekend. This rainy weather is not met with worry though as I have jars of sunshine to get me through the winter months.

A while back, one of my acquaintances blogged about buying a house and acquiring a new lemon tree. She was looking for things to do with all the lemons. She also was looking for some canning lessons. I traded her canning lessons for some lemons, and out of the trade came not only a great friendship, but also these awesome jars of strawberry lemonade concentrate. She had made some of this as well, so I had her notes to go off of for tweaking mine. I used the Ball book that I have for a recipe, and she got her's off of the internet somewhere. In her recipe, she said that the concentrate ended up being way too sweet even when watered down. This was good to know, so I cut my sugar levels by quite a bit. I like lemonade to be a bit sweet but not cloying by any means. I also strained my strawberry pulp, as Dan is not a big fan of the seeds in strawberries. This extra step took quite a while and also cut the yield I had on strawberry pulp by a bit.

I ended up with four pints, one from Dreah and three of my own, to take me through the winter. I had a little left over that I placed in the fridge and recently got out to test. It was quite good. The mix of the different types of Meyer lemon and regular lemons made for an interesting lemon flavor that was not too harsh. The strawberry flavor was a nice enhancer but was also not overwhelming. The sugar being cut down was also a good move as it was just the right amount of sweetness for me, and if someone else wants it more sweet, they can always add more to their glass. I think this could also be great as a daiquiri or margarita base if one wanted to use it that way or it could be cut with lemon lime soda or club soda as the Ball book suggests. Needless to say, I will be trying to get more lemons from my friend next year to make this one again! Now off to work on those perplexing socks I am trying.

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