I have never spent a March picking strawberries and making freezer jam. But, I suppose, there is a first time for everything. Every year, for the past 3 years, I have made homemade freezer jam during berry season. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a staple in our house and we're jam snobs. Buying jam with real fruit and no high-fructose corn syrup can be quite expensive. As a result, I tend to make my own jam. It tastes better, in my opinion, and it's enjoyable to make.
Anna and I had some bonding time at the berry patch and then mashing up berries (a great stress-reliever, might I add). I use a handy little tool for berry mashing--the Pampered Chef Mix 'N Chop. It's a lovely little gizmo that works like a potato masher but much, much better. I use it for all my smashing needs; it also works well for breaking up ground meat into small restaurant-quality consistency for tacos and meat sauces. I can't say enough about it. Actually, I can't say enough about almost all the Pampered Chef kitchenware I own. I have considered becoming a Pampered Chef consultant, but then I decided I'd spend more money on their products than I made (which is probably what they want you to do but I don't really want to play that game).
Living in Texas is like living in another hemisphere from Michigan. Bugs are bigger, my hair has been bigger (and it's not even that humid yet!), it's like June at 78 degrees today, and the June Bugs (aka Japanese Beetles) are already banging against my back door. I left winter, skipped spring, and entered what I think of as summer. I'm told to just wait; I'll melt.
So, to those of you back home, know that I'll envy you in June when it's your turn to pick berries. Maybe I'll even turn up on your doorstep; to experience this season again would be nice!