Southern Belle Magazine May 2013, Issue 1 - Page 43

By Karen Giordano n the Deep South, Spring means the promise of warmer days, the joy of browsing the local garden center to pick out tender, new veggie and herb plants, and of course, visiting the local produce market to purchase a flat of the first locally grown strawberries of the season. This year I was amazed, almost in a slight state of shock, saying the old Southern adage: “bless her little heart” to myself, in the sweetest meaning of the phrase, when my adult daughter asked me to teach her how to make jams and jellies. She said she had been researching and wanted to start growing her own vegetables and she also really wanted to learn how to make jelly, saying, “the strawberry kind, because that has always been my favorit e.” She has never wanted to get her hands dirty so after recovering from nearly fainting, I promised her we would do this together this year. As busy as life has been I confess I have let the longtime spring ritual of making my own fruit preserves slide. I have missed this simple act of “putting up” food that so many Southern women are blessed to be taught as young girls by their mothers and grandmothers. There is just something so satisfying about hearing that familiar “pop” when the lids have sealed, or opening a jar to spread the homemade richness on a hot biscuit, or sharing a jar with a neighbor. My daughter and I are both so excited to start a new spring tradition, and hopefully, it will be one she passes to her children some day. I I wanted to share a few favorite recipes using strawberries and strawberry preserves as main features. Spring always includes lots of excuses to celebrate, whether a Bridal Shower, or family get-together, and these recipes are sure to please your family and friends, and hopefully inspire you to start a new tradition in your family of “putting” up Strawberry Preserves. Also included on the following pages is everything you need for a wonderful spring meal. Most everything is done in the oven, giving you a little time to work in the garden or just sit on the porch and enjoy a glass of sweet tea. So put your apron on and Happy Cooking! 43