Tag Archives: rhubarb

easiest strawberry rhubarb jam ever

This is a quick and easy way to preserve some rhubarb. The recipe doesn’t require strawberries, but you could replace some of the rhubarb with strawberries if you have some on hand.

You can either freeze it as a freezer jam, process it for 10 minutes in a water bath, or do it the old fashioned easy way like I did. I poured the boiling jam into hot sterilized jars straight from the dishwasher leaving 1/4 to 1/8 inch of headspace. Then I wiped the rims, popped on the tops (also hot and sterilized straight from the dishwasher on the hot setting), tightened the rings and turned them upside down on a towel. After that, all you have to do is leave them to cool overnight. Test the tops the next day – if they are properly sealed there will be no give in the lid (this method only safe to be used for high acid foods like fruit jams or jelly). If not properly sealed, put in fridge and use over the next couple of weeks or freeze for up to a year.

We tested some out over ice cream and decided that it’s a definite keeper.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

  • 6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb
  • 2-3 cups white sugar (to taste – I used 2 1/2 and would try it again with only 2)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 package strawberry flavored gelatin

In a large saucepan or stockpot, stir together the fresh rhubarb and sugar. Let stand for an hour or two to draw out some of the liquid and help break down the rhubarb.

Bring the rhubarb and sugar to a boil. Boil, stirring constantly, until fruit is soft and completely cooked. I used a stick blender to smoothe it out a bit at this point, then stirred in the dry gelatin mix. Transfer to sterile jars, allow to cool and freeze (or process it as above).

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, A Pinch of Joy, Sorta Crunchy

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simplified entertaining – and a little Grand Marnier fudge

Part of the Mother’s Day gifts for the Grandmas.

Another busy weekend over for us. A fun one, but busy.

We like to entertain at our house. We don’t go out much because dinner with a family of four can get expensive in a restaurant. We also don’t spend a lot of money going to movies or amusement parks or other entertainment venues. We do that once in a while (once or twice a year), but the rest of the time we make our own entertainment.

We invited friends for dinner on Saturday night. Two other couples, both with children close in ages to our own – 12 of us in total. The children entertained themselves on the play equipment and with petting the ponies and the adults were able to enjoy a few glasses of wine on the deck while dinner cooked.

We made it easy on ourselves by assembling a dinner that we could cook entirely on the barbeque – my husband bbq’d a pork roast that he tied with fresh rosemary and sage, we bbq’d the potatoes sliced with onions in between each slice and wrapped them in tin foil, and when the roast was finished, we grilled some fresh asparagus (from the neighbours garden) that we had marinated with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.

The whole thing was delicious; we served it with a spinach salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing and lots of homemade iced tea for the kids (they drank a gallon and a half of it!). Even the kids all ate everything on their plates – and we served them outside on the deck, away from the adult’s watchful eyes.

For dessert, to make it appealing to the kids (and none of the adults refused it either), we served chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. We used this Toll House Cookies recipe (we are on a constant quest for the best chocolate chip recipe and this is the best of them so far) and would have used our own homemade 3 ingredient ice cream, but I ran out of time to make it and bought some instead (sometimes you just have to let something go).

All in all, it was a successful dinner and visit – the kids were still outside playing hide and seek even after it was dark, and the adults were enjoying adult conversation.

And after they went home, the clean up and preparations started for Mother’s Day Brunch. We made up a batch of fudge to give the moms along with some homemade cards that the kids made and a couple of gardening magazines. I made the fudge with Grand Marnier this time and everything that didn’t get given away as a present was gobbled up by the end of dinner.

Grand Marnier Fudge

  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 3 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I use semi-sweet)
  • 1/3 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1 tsp coconut oil or butter (gives a nice shine to the fudge)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)

Slowly melt chocolate and condensed milk together over medium low heat. Add Grand Marnier and nuts. Scrape into a 9″ square pan (either use a silicone pan or a pan lined with saran wrap – it’ll come out easier). Chill in fridge until set.

Cut into small pieces to serve – it’s very rich, so a little goes a long way.

For the brunch, my husband made Eggs Benedict, I made a spinach salad with a simple vinaigrette dressing and a fruit salad with some chopped mint and we were done. We served rhubarb syrup and Prosecco and I made a pitcher of rhubarb syrup and soda water to drink (both drinks went over very well). And for dessert, leftover cookies from the night before and fudge.

Again, everyone seemed to enjoy the food and the company. This time around there were 13 of us in total – lots of busy-ness in the kitchen, but there are also lots of people around to help with the clean up afterwards. My china and most of the silverware can go right into the dishwasher on the china setting – and it comes out just fine. The only things that we have to wash by hand are the silver knives (something about the way that the handles are glued – they shouldn’t go in the dishwasher), the crystal and the pots and pans. It was all cleaned up, the guests had left and I even had a while to sit and read for a while. And then we were off for dinner at my in-law’s house. See, I told you.. busy.

I do love weekends. I like entertaining too, when we can keep it relatively low-key like this. Sometimes Mondays at work seem relaxing too.

Linking to Beautify it Monday, A Pinch of Joy, Frugally Sustainable, Cozy Home Scenes, Simple Lives Thursday

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tipsy rhubarb – pink ladylike drinks for your Mother’s Day brunch

We have a brunch planned for this Sunday to celebrate Mother’s Day. The cooking will mostly be left up to the dad (at least I’m pretty sure he’ll volunteer), but I will make a small contribution of my own.

It’s rhubarb season again, and our patch is coming along nicely. We planted some last year and some again this year – we leave it for the first year uncut, but second year rhubarb is fair game. It’s easy to care for, so I most likely won’t be able to kill it easily. I just cut the flower stems off as I see them, before they bolt, the rest is good to go. Apparently they like a little manure spread around them too, so we’ll get to that sometime this weekend. Maybe.

I was able to cut enough stalks to make some syrup for these pretty drinks. One is a rhubarb version of Kir Royale, the other is a nice fresh non-alcoholic drink fit for the teatotalers (or you could add a splash of vodka to it).

For the drinks, first you need some simple syrup:

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 cup sugar

1 ½ cups water

Add ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until rhubarb is soft. Mash and strain rhubarb over a large bowl. Transfer liquid into a container and cool in fridge (don’t throw out the rhubarb, it is really good over ice cream).

To make the drinks:

Rhubarb and lime soda –  mix 1 part rhubarb simple syrup and 2 parts club soda over ice, garnish with lime wedge (this one is non-alcoholic, but feel free to add a little something to it).

Rhubarb Prosecco – add a small amount of rhubarb simple syrup to a glass and top with Prosecco (or Champagne). Garnish with a mint leaf (if, like me, your mint is taking over your garden already).

Linking to Frugally Sustainable, A Delightful Home, Beautify it Monday, A Pinch of Joy

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