It has been so very hot and humid here over the last few days, that it was difficult to want to get up this morning and go out to pick strawberries. We decided to leave here at 5:30am to beat the heat. We traveled over 30 miles to get to the berry farm, and we were so looking forward to getting done quickly and back home.
It took us over 2 hours for the three of us to pick 24 quarts of strawberries!! They were already well picked over, and those that were nice and ripe were bug eaten. With three of us picking, it should have been no time to get out of there. When we got home, I started to make jam, but found the berries were unusually hard and not juicy at all. They didn't have the flavor and even after sitting, we ended up with no juice spots. I cut up some berries for tonight's dessert - strawberry shortcake. I sprinkled the berries with sugar to draw the juice and they sat all afternoon. When we pulled them out for dessert, there was NO JUICE!! What is wrong with these berries?!! I've picked and put up berries for years and have never seen anything like these things.
I'll be letting the rest sit until tomorrow. Hopefully they will ripen more and get a bit softer. Right now, they have the feeling of a store bought peach - just plain hard!