Monday, June 28, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Heaven

I decided to try to make some strawberry rhubarb jam, today. I have been picking the little strawberries from my garden each day, and freezing them until I had enough for jam.

It was taking forever but I figured if I added in some rhubarb I'd have enough. And I really should use my rhubarb since I've been growing it for 4 years and haven't done anything with it. The reason? It's the wrong damn kind. It never occured to me that not all rhubarb had those nice, ruby red stalks. I thought "rhubarb is rhubarb" in the same way I once thought "sheep are sheep". Not! So when I purchased my rhubarb baby, of course I picked the WRONG ONE. Mine has rather skinny, sickly, pale looking stalks. And it produces some of the fugliest flowers I've ever seen (I didn't even know rhubarb HAD flowers). So every year it comes up, and every year I ignore it. I actually have 2 rhubarb plants (same type), but one of them must've not liked all our rain and died back. Maybe it rotted? I have no idea. But it does seem to be recovering and sending out new leaves. Here they are. The healthy one is on the left.

I only have about 1.5 cups of strawberries saved, by the time I crushed them up.

That means I'll need a total of 3.5 cups of rhubarb, since I have decided I need a total of 5 cups of fruit. I am going to need 3 cups of chopped rhubarb which I'll cook in a half cup of water. I picked 5 stalks of rhubarb (but ended up needing a 6th).

After washing the stalks I halved them lengthwise then cut them into chunks on the bias.

I placed them in a pot with 1/2 cup of water, brought them to a boil, and simmered them for 2 minutes, until tender. Then I removed them from the heat and set aside in the refrigerator, with the crushed strawberries.

In the meantime I sterilized 6 small jelly sized canning jars, and their lids. When I was ready I proceeded with the recipe, as follows:

Roxi's "Slap Yo Mama Good"
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

This is my own recipe. I like more rhubarb than strawberry in my strawberry rhubarb jam. I also don't like it sickeningly sweet. I added a little lemon juice for tartness. I may be prejudiced, but I think this is the best damn jam I've ever eaten. I hope you'll enjoy it, as well.

1 1/2 C. mashed strawberries
3 1/2 cups cooked rhubarb (prepared as above)
5 cups sugar
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. butter (don't leave this out or you'll have to scoop foam)
1 (3 oz) package Certo liquid pectin

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the pectin and continue boiling and stirring for one full minute. Remove from heat. Pour into hot sterilized jam jars, leaving 1/8 inch head room (I think I left more like 1/4"). Wipe any spilled jam from the jar edge with a clean damp cloth or paper towel. Top with a sterilized lid and tighten the ring as tight as you can by hand. Repeat with remaining jars (I used 6 and had a little jam left over, which I refrigerated). Once all jars are filled, invert them (stand them on their heads) for 5 minutes. Flip them back over and let them cool completely. They should all "pop" and seal. If any jars fail to seal refrigerate them and use right away. Store your sealed jars in a cool dark place. Enjoy your home made jam!

Here I am sampling some of the jam on my home baked wheat toast. The only thing I didn't make is the butter (although I do know how to make it and have done so in the past).

Well, that was fun. I hadn't made jam in years. Probably close to 20 years, in fact. I guess life got too busy. I am so happy that I have gotten back to the simpler, more enjoyable, things in life. Speaking of which....Joanie gave me another egg today! She did manage to crack this one, too, but it isn't a bad crack and I'm gonna eat it. I'll have it for breakfast in the morning. With my toast and jam. LOL

And I leave you with a picture of an odd type of fly that was resting on my sidewalk, today. Isn't it the strangest fly you've ever seen? Anyone know what type it is? I've never seen one before.


Rantings by a Middle Aged Drama Queen said... ???? Looks about the same!

luvewe said...

That's it, alright. Hmmm...Common Whitetail? I don't know how common it is in my area, as I've never seen one. We usually get the long, skinny-bodied blue or purplish ones. Thanks for finding the answer, Amber.

Robin said...

Your jam looks beautiful, Roxi

luvewe said...

Hey there, Robin! How are you?

Robin said...

I have tons of these on my place. I think it is a dragon fly