Get your Jam on

The first thing that spring brings me is rhubarb.  What does one do with this bountiful harvest?  I could make baked goods, wine or jam.  I opted for jam but I am sure I will have many more opportunities to try other options!

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First, start by harvesting rhubarb that is 10″ or longer.  There are two varieties that I am aware of.  The red is probably what most people think of, but I have green because it is usually sweeter.  🙂

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I cut mine down the length of the stalk and then diced in small pieces.  I had just shy of three pounds when I was finished.

 

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Place the cut rhubarb, 2 fresh squeezed oranges, 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon, a 12 oz bag of frozen cherries (no sugar added) and one package of no sugar pectin.  Bring mixture to a boil at high heat, stirring often.  Chop down the cherries with the edge of your spoon while you cook.  Alternatively, you could cut them before putting them in the pot.

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Once you can not stir down the boil, add the sugar amount you prefer.  I wanted mine more tart that sweet.  I added about 1 1/2 cups sugar.

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Rhubarb Cherry Jam

Place finished jam in hot jars and process accordingly.  I used Ball Canning calculators to know how long to process and how much pectin.  It is a really nice tool to allow some creativity in your jam recipes!

A suggestion a friend gave me is to use this on pork – which I think is brilliant and will be trying soon!

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I would love to hear about some of the creative jam combos you have tried.  Post in the comments below!

 

 

 

How does your garden grow?

Last weekend we worked on the garden.  The rabbit fence from last year did it’s job well but it was rather hard to bend over and get stuff out of the garden!  This year we put the fence on the outside so you just have to step over it to get inside.  Notice the step stool so I don’t have TOO many accidents!

We are also changing how we are planting this year.  Our neighbor is very creative with space and has many of his vegetables growing up on string, including tomatoes.  Harvesting them from a wall like view rather then those silly wire circle things is so much easier.  So, in the actual garden bed we have a large herb section, red, yellow, orange & purple peppers and zuchini.  In the green containers, yet to be filled, we will have big boy tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes & cucumbers.  All of them will be able to grow up the rabbit fence and eventually higher on string between poles.

I did a little canning last year and it went much better than expected.  I was bummed when I ran out so I am going to try and do more this year.

Next project, maybe a cute scarecrow for the corner?  🙂

How about you?  Any gardening planned this year?

Ginal