After about three years of missed PYO strawberries, I finally made it! I went to a local orchard with my mom and picked a flat of strawberries. She made jam because she's a lot braver than I am. I went the easy, and yet still delicious route, and mashed the berries with sugar to freeze in bags. I ended up with three and a half quarts frozen with enough left over for one bowl of berries to munch on in the fridge. I find mashing to be one of the easiest ways to preserve strawberries. I removed the stems and leaves, rinsed, cut the tops off, sliced in half, and then mashed the strawberries in a big pot (you could use a big bowl since no heat is needed). I mashed in batches until all berries were done, and then I added about 2 cups of sugar. I like them sweet but you can add as much sugar as fits your taste. After they were all mashed, I used a measuring cup to fill three and a half quart bags. I left about half an inch of head space for expansion and popped them into the fridge. Voila! Done. Today, I ate some of them poured over granola and it was delicious.
I also enjoyed some fresh peas from my garden today. If you've never had fresh peas, you're really missing out. They are juicy and sweet, and they're really more like candy than a vegetable. It's a satisfying feeling to pop one in between your teeth and have that sweet juice squirt out. They're like healthy Gushers Fruit Snacks. The Mischievous One enjoyed a few empty pods. The Snuggler prefers strawberries.
The chickens are doing well, although I still haven't figured out what I'm going to do with the suspected rooster. Here are some updated pics.