Let's back up a few days, shall we? My dear friend, Shelby runs a AMAZING non-profit called Cranio Care Bears. As a small non-profit, they rely heavily on donations... thus the reason I was there. I was donating a little coffee gift package for her silent auction. Well, I came with coffee and left with a giant bag of rhubarb! In any event, it sat in my fridge for a few days until I saw this post over at another blog about rhubarb-cinnamon jam. I sat back and thought for a moment. I like jam and certainly the idea of canning, but the actual act of canning freaks me out. What if I don't do it right? How do I know it worked? What if I feed my family botulism?!?
Well, I swallowed those fears and check it out... I made jam!
|Rhubarb-cinnamon jam (with just a touch of strawberry)|
I am so proud of myself! Now, of course, this has created a total monster. I'm thinking ahead to all the apples I get in the fall (applesauce? apple butter?) And then I'm thinking about those 16 tomato plants (stewed tomatoes? spaghetti sauce?) And what about that mountain of pole beans I've started (pickled beans?) Well, let's just say I may be a busy woman in a few months.
Of course, we can take it all back to The Binder with the millions of tear sheets featuring beautifully preserved goods and perfectly staged pantries. Sigh. If only I had more time on my hands... and maybe a bigger garden. :)
|Phat Beets! (MS Living)|
|Martha prepping strawberry jam last year (via themarthablog)|
|And then there's this recipe for pickled beans from Sunset Magazine|
Can't wait until this garden gets fully going! In the meantime, I might try and trade Shelby a few jars of jam for some more rhubarb. Yum!
(adapted from a Sure Jell Recipe)
4-1/2 cups prepared fruit (about 5 lg stalks, 6 c. chopped)
1 cup water
1 box Sure Jell Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp butter or margarine
6-1/2 cups sugar
1 Tbl lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water, to a simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rincse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.
Chop rhubarb into medium dice. Place rhubarb and water into 4-qt. saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 2 min. or until rhubarb is tender. Measure exactly 4-1/2 cups prepared rhubarb into 6- or 8-qt. pot. I was a wee bit short here so I added a few strawberries to bring it up to the full 4-1/2 cups.
Stir pectin and lemon juice into prepared rhubarb. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring to a full rolling boil (one that doesn't stop when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar and cinnamon. Return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, skim off any foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of the tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner, making sure the jars are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Add boiling water if necessary. Cover and bring water to a gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. You should start to hear the lids pop in the first hour or so of cooling. After jars cool 12-24 hours, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If the lid springs back, it is not sealed and needs to be refrigerated.
Makes 5 - 12 oz jars or 7.5 - 8 oz jars
PS. The glorious sound of can lids popping is my new favorite noise.