Rhubarb Jam

Spring is certainly here. A crab apple in bloom.

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Our first harvest of the season is rhubarb. I made jam today.

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This plant is so large and beautiful.

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Of course you don’t use the leaves because they are poisonous. Stalks only.

This recipe only makes a small batch. I plan to make two small batches this season. Another later in the season.

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With only two of us we don’t need more than that. With the plum, blackberry, crabapple, and grape we hope to harvest we should be covered up in jam. The Lord willing.

Of course there will be plenty of rhubarb for pies, cakes, cookies and breads.

We harvest rhubarb from early spring until the first week in July.

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I got this recipe from Just a Pinch and it turned out perfectly. It is just as the name states, “easy” . I have only used the unflavored gelatin but the flavored could also be nice.

Easy Rhubarb Jam
7 c rhubarb (chopped in 1/2 inch pieces)
1 small jell-o (any flavor) or 1 packet unflavored knox gelatin
5 c sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c water

Directions Step-By-Step 1 Cook rhubarb and water until tender,add sugar and lemon juice and stir together well. Cook over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until you reach a boil that can not be stirred down. Add Jello and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes. Fill sterilized hot jars to 1/4 inch from rim of jars. Remove bubbles, wipe jar rims with hot damp cloth. Seal in jars to fingertip tight. Put in boiling bath canner with lid on for 15 minutes. Remove lid from canner, let sit 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner to a towel lined counter to sit and cool for 24 hours before storing. 2 **** if you need a little water, don’t be afraid to add it while cooking down the rhubarb… but go sparingly as the rhubarb creates liquid..

Enjoyment vs. Need

While I love to fashion aspects of my life to old time methods and 1800 technology, I would not enjoy having to do those things on a daily basis, out of need.

I love to imagine that I could survive if need be, but the true test has yet to come.

That is why this years tomato crop has been mostly frozen. Canning my excess tomato crop is more efficient, considering if the power goes out I would loose my frozen vegetables, without the help of a generator.

I also have seen that in times of failing health, ( or perhaps a motorcycle accident)..People might not feel the energy to can vegetables is worth the effort. My 2009 excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

Frozen, Roasted, Tomatoes

Simply wash and cut tomatoes in uniform pieces and spread on a baking sheet. Top with a chopped onion and then spray well with an olive oil cooking spray. Sprinkle with plenty of kosher salt, dried basil, and dried orgegano ( fresh herbs burn ).

Place in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Stir and replace about 20 minutes or however long you feel will consume most juice without a burn. Cool well and bag for the freezer.

To use, just thaw & throw in soups or recipes calling for canned tomato,
or thaw and process in food processor, push through a wire strainer for tomato sauce.

Ukrainian Radish Salad

I personally think there is nothing better in the world than taking and transforming garden vegetables from the dirt to the table.

I wanted to try something different with our radishes.

I found this radish salad that used some of our seasonal garden items. Spring onion, dill, and radish grace this salad. It makes a substitute for coleslaw.

I found this somewhere years ago on the net. Can’t remember where or I would give credit and I failed to note it. It had been adapted from Madhur Jaffreys World Vegetarian. I believe a dab of mustard might go well in there, although I haven’t tried to add it yet.


UKRAINIAN RADISH SALAD

2 c. thinly sliced radishes
2 scallions — cut into very fine
rounds
— (use both white &
green parts)
1 clove garlic — finely minced
3 T. fresh dill — finely chopped
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t. salt (be generous)
1/4 t. cayenne
1 c. lite sour cream
1/4 t. paprika

Adapted from Madhur Jaffreys World Vegetarian.

In a bowl, toss the radishes, scallions, garlic, dill, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and cayenne. Mix well and then add the sour cream and paprika. Mix well again. Chill at least three hours before serving to let the flavors marry. The final outcome makes a nice alternative to coleslaw.

(makes 3-4 side dish servings)

Spring on the Pond- derosa

So glad that spring has sprung here!

We have been harvesting lettuce, chive, onion, mint, thyme, oregano, lemon balm, arugula and radish.

lettuce mixture

lemon balm

chives

thyme

We planted new asparagus but it looks pretty pitiful the first year.

Imagine a 20 foot row of that! Ground needs working!

I so look forward to the growing season and hanging out at our old backyard fishing hole!

Fishing hole painting done with Photoscape! Cool free program!

Come back as the season progresses. We hope to have a lot more wonderful vegetables to show off.

Roasted Green Beans

I have the past two years taken to roasting green beans.

Here is how I do it.

Clean about 2 cups fresh green beans and place in a covered iron chicken fryer sprayed with olive oil spray. On top put one diced red sweet pepper along with one small onion diced and one minced clove garlic.

Salt well then spray well with cooking spray. Next add on top about 5 to 6 slices lemon.

Cover and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. When they come out take off the lemon, stir well and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

The green bean actually brown a bit on the bottoms and hubby and I like that. They may be cooked too long for some but we find they are perfect.

Something a bit different eating browned green beans.

Independence Days Update

1.Plant something – green beans, lettuce, dill

We have many eggplant but this is the biggest one right now.

Some dill is seeding along with coriander.

dill seed

coriander seed

2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchini, lots of herbs, lots of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, onion, lettuce, arugula, carrot, green beans, green tomato, blackberries, cucumber, new potato.

3. Preserve something – frozen squash, zucchini, herbs and breadcrumbs. Frozen and canned blackberries. Zucchini Relish.

I love this relish but halve the recipe because that is all we can use in a season. I use it in my favorite cole slaw recipe, and on hot dogs.

Link to slaw- Cranberry Cole Slaw.

Make sure you use a 5% acidity vinegar!

The first time I made it, I started to use a cheap off brand and thought to check, while the recipe didn’t specify. That vinegar was only a watered down 4%!

I switched off to a 5% cider vinegar and that worked well.


Zucchini Relish

10 cups zucchini chopped
4 cups chopped onion
3 bell pepper chopped
5 tablespoons kosher salt
4 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups white vinegar ( 5 % acidity!)
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons celery seed
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Place unpeeled chopped zucchini, chopped onion, chopped bell pepper and salt into a large pot. Cover with water and allow to sit overnight.
Drain water and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
Combine sugar, vinegar,mustard, turmeric, cornstarch, celery seed, nutmeg and ground pepper. Pour over zucchini mixture in pot and cook on low heat about 30 minutes.
Ladle mixture into sterilized pint jars and seal in a boiling water bath.
Yield:
8 pints

4. Prep something – new garden bed

5. Cook something – new! Roast Cauliflower and Green Beans with Dill.



Just take about 1/2 large head cauliflower and break up along with 2 handfuls fresh green beans. Throw it into a covered casserole ( I like to use my cast iron chicken fryer) sprayed with olive oil spray. Top that with a couple of tablespoons fresh dill weed and lemon slices. Salt, pepper and spray with more cooking spray then cover and roast in 375 for about 30 minutes.
To serve remove the lemon slices and grate some parmesan or asiago cheese on top. I can eat this for lunch by itself.

6. Manage your reserves- rotating canned goods

7. Work on local food systems – No

8. Manage waste- Still throwing on compost heap..

9. Learn something new – I have found a way to help rid my kitchen of garden gnats!

Anyone that brings garden veggies into the house has to know you sometimes carry in gnats too.
Just throw your compost waste in a bucket with a lid on the counter, but place the lid on the kitchen counter while filling. When you get ready to carry the waste to the compost heap slap that lid on top and hold down until you get outside. You would be surprise how many gnats you can transfer back out into the open

Steamed Carrots with Mint and an Award- In Honor of Sher

Sher of “What Did You Eat” passed away on the 20th.

I see that she even commented on this award that very day.

I will delete posts after this to put this one back at top until after the weekend. I am grieved.

Here is a memorial on Sher from her good friend Glenna, please read it.

Sher will be greatly missed by many.
Goodbye My Friend Sher – by Glenna Muse

____________________________
The original post

First a local meal and then an award.

Everyone should have heard of One Local Summer. The challenge is to eat one meal within a 100 mile radius every week with the exception of oil, salt and pepper, and spices.

I have not officially participated, I don’t wish to feel I have to ( trying to avoid a bondage situation in my mind) but want to eat local . I have been trying to have many local meals each week and this is one of them.


Local strip steak grilled with Copycat Montreal Seasoning RECIPE LINK – The only non-local items are the salt, pepper, and fennel seed in the seasoning. ( I still have never attempted to grow fennel but hope to try by next year)

Roasted New potatoes – Only non-local items are salt, pepper, and olive oil spray.

Garden salad – non-local items were vinegar and oil, salt and pepper and a bit of cheese.

Steamed Carrots with Mint – The only non-local items are butter, salt, and pepper

The steamed carrots recipe came from Live Earth Farms Newsletters LINK.
This is one newsletter I try to read religiously and is full of just good down to earth recipes.

I must get the link on my link list as I have been visiting for a couple of years now. When I had dial-up I wanted to keep the link a secret, because I didn’t want too much traffic to make the link hard for me to access! :)

Steamed Carrots with Mint

4 large fresh mint sprigs plus 1 tbsp. chopped
fresh mint
1 lb carrots — peeled, and if
small, left whole [even with a bit of
green tops attached!]. Otherwise, cut
them into smallish segments or coins
1 tbsp. butter — room temp.
Fleur de sel [if you have it] or a nice
coarse kosher salt or sea salt

undated clipping
serves 4

Carrots are gently infused with a sweet, minty flavor.

Place mint sprigs in bottom of saucepan; place steamer rack in pan. Add just enough water to touch bottom of steamer rack; place carrots on rack. Cover pan and steam over high heat until carrots are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes, depending on size. Transfer carrots to a bowl; toss with butter and chopped mint. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.
——————————————
And a YUM-Yum Blog Award !

I was also awarded this wonderful YUMYUM award by Natashya of Living In The Kitchen With Puppies. Isn’t that cool? Now I am suppose to award it to 5 other bloggers.

Scott at Sugar and Lard
I love reading Sugar and Lard because Scott makes me laugh while still providing great ideas and recipes, especially barbeque.

Gattina at Kitchen Unplugged
Kitchen Unplugged never fails to make my mouth water and Gattinas photos are out of this world.

Ali at Henbogle
Henbogle makes me go YUM just looking at Ali’s garden let alone the wonderful food.

Sher at What Did You Eat
What Did You Eat was one of the first food blogs I ever began reading, and Sher never fails to come up with new and great recipes and photos.

JMom at Cooked From The Heart
I lost track of Cooked from the Heart for a while as my slow dial up bogged further and further into dark abbess, but since I have upgraded to highspeed I loved finding JMom again and the wonderful down home recipes, as that is exactly what I love.

Independence Days Update

You can find Sharons update with more updates in the comment section here.
I am running a very late update with the 4th weekend and all.

1.Plant something – more green beans, lettuce

The winter squash is forming.

Tomatoes are forming but very slow it seems.

While the cucumbers are blooming I find it odd that we don’t have cucumbers yet.

The corn is beginning to top.

2. Harvest something – cabbage, zucchini, lots of herbs, lots of hot and sweet peppers, summer squash, onion, lettuce, carrot, squash blossoms, wild raspberry ( wild blackberries are looking large and abundant but won’t be ready to harvest until the end of the month ).

3. Preserve something – tons of dried herbs, frozen squash and zucchini.

4. Prep something – nothing

5. Cook something – new! Grilled Honey Lime Shrimp Link to recipe. You know if worse comes to worse and I had to eat all local, I wouldn’t have the shrimp!

Let us pray.

Dear Lord,
Take the lobster and calamari if you must, but please leave me with shrimp and scallops. I will make do with our pond fish if I have to.
Amen

6. Manage your reserves – no I have been extremely lazy it seems.

7. Work on local food systems – No again.

8. Manage waste – Still throwing on compost heap, but forgetting to turn it .

9. Learn something new – Something about myself, I am not very good at maintaining compost and I don’t want to go without shrimp.