50 Pounds Of Strawberries

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Hi everyone!  This is Eva, Jennifer’s daughter and the oldest of eight siblings.  I volunteered to write the Fruitful Friday post today partly because I was an active participant in this week’s topic – preparing and freezing strawberries.

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We’ve picked our own strawberries for several years, although there have been a few years when we’ve bought them in bulk when they go on sale.  This year was one such year.  My dad brought home fifty pounds of strawberries and my mom and several of my siblings set to work preparing them for storage.

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Instead of canning the strawberries, we freeze them (although we did make and can our own strawberry jam a few years ago).  The first thing we did was take the strawberries out of their containers and dump them in the (clean) sink.  We sprayed water over them and then started quartering them.  My sister, Elisabeth did most of the quartering and we all pitched in (taking turns) to cut the tops off for her.  As the strawberries were quartered, she tossed them in our salad spinner.  Since they were still wet, she would spin them when the bowl got full and they would dry off almost perfectly.  When my mom was given the salad spinner years ago, she thought it wouldn’t be much use – since then we have used it for strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and, of course, lettuce.

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After the strawberries are dry, we put them on cookie trays, the boys take them down to our big freezer.  The next day, we take the trays out of the freezer and transfer the fruit to large freezer bags (which are then put in the freezer – obviously).  We’ve stored forty pounds of strawberries this way.  Even after enjoying fresh strawberries almost every day, we still have about half a year’s supply.  Over the months we’ll use the berries in hot cereals, muffins, yogurt and many other things besides.

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 So what did you do, health-wise, this week?

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Say “Cheese”

Today I want to talk about a different kind of preservation. Yesterday I was thinking about how quickly my baby is growing up. He’s three months old already, and while I love all the ways that he’s changing and interacting with us I miss his newborn days. There is something so special about those first few days when you’re learning all about this new little person. I’ll never forget discovering my baby’s dimples just minutes after he was born. Now we get to see those dimples a lot because he’s such a happy, smiley baby.

I know that three months from now when he’s getting more mobile and can entertain himself just a wee bit I’ll be missing things about what he was like at three months. Right now he’s still small enough that when I go for walks he faces me in his wrap and I love looking down at his little chubby face. Soon – way too soon – he’ll be big enough for the backpack. Somehow in the blink of an eye they go from cuddling in your arms to being taller than you with feet that are size 12!

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my newest baby snuggling in the sling

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my oldest son at six weeks

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my oldest son pushing my toddler at the zoo

I remember sensations and smells but not sights as well. How do you remember what your baby looked like? How chubby or lanky he was? How much or little hair he had? With pictures! But those pictures are no good if you take them and then they just get kept in a box somewhere or on your computer’s hard drive. They have to be out where you can see them – to remember, to marvel at the change, to be thankful for all you’ve had with that child.

I used to put all my pictures into photo albums. I had absolutely no interest in scrapbooking. That is not for me. I don’t have the time or creativity for it. But then I discovered Creative Memories PicFolio albums! These things are fantastic. They were made for people like me. You just slide your pictures into the pockets – no scrapbooking skills necessary – but your pictures are safe. I did discover that I do enjoy doing a little bit of embellishing and journalling but I don’t have to if I don’t want to.

I think the journalling is important. My children love to look at our albums now and read what I have to say about them. They’re the heroes and heroines of these stories! So don’t just put your pictures in a box waiting to someday get around to books or store them on your computer. Get them out, show them off and write about the memories so they won’t be forgotten. Like the time we picked 65 pounds of strawberries in one hour! Who could remember that statistic without some help. Or the silly times when your toddler played peek-a-boo with you using a box on his head. Or the sweet times when your oldest daughter cuddled your youngest to sleep when he had a cold.

Pictures are wonderful and tell fantastic stories don’t let yours stay silent. Check out the Creative Memories web site they will have something to help you get started…http://ca.mycmsite.com/sites/georgellamore. I do not get anything from you visiting or buying from this site, but if you do I will be so happy that you started preserving your memories. You won’t regret it.