Grow-our-own ______ part 1

Been away from the blog since we started harvesting last summer’s bounty from our garden – school, yard work, a three week trek across the eastern United States, and puppy training have limited both my time to cook and time to blog. This year I am going to try and post a bit more regularly (no promises) and to add periodic updates about “our garden experiment” which of course will include what we do with the vegetables we grow (canning etc.).

As a brief intro to our garden: this is our fourth year of trial and error in growing and preserving vegetables. Each year we have changed and expanded the experiment. In Year 1 we built two 8’x4′ planter boxes and had a very limited mix of vegetables and herbs. Year 2 we re-purposed one planter to ornamental flowers and the other to herbs, while the vegetables were moved to two 12’x10′ beds we dug. Year 3 we repositioned the planters for more sun and dedicated both mostly to herbs; the 2 garden beds have merged into one 30’x13′  bed and the ornamental flowers have moved to an enlarged garden area at the front of the house. A solar powered electric fence was added to keep the raccoons out. Here is the garden bed in late July of last year.

70197344827005b

This year (year 4) the garden bed is being graded for more even watering and the individual rows are getting low borders in order to a) try some SFG (Square Foot Gardening) techniques; b) prevent erosion; c) better mark out where to walk; d) look more neat and organized; e)  create something that irrigation can be attached to. The trellises for the vining plants are being re-engineered – last year’s were more or less functional but ghetto looking. We have added 4 more raised beds (2′ x 6′ each) against the fence line, not so much to add more growing space as to shore up possible dog escape points along the bottom of the fence.

Last years ‘crop’ included beets, bush beans, carrots, corn, cucumber, eggplant, ground cherry, habanero, jalapeno, parsnip, pumpkin, snap peas, squash, sunflower, tomato, tomatillo, zucchini plus a wider array of herbs. Some things turned out well, some were wasted effort (I mean learning moments). We are still working through last years pickles, relish, tomato sauce, corn, pumpkin, salsa verde, and other canned goods. (We also added in some other fruits and veg from the farmers market and a u-pick farm.) Here is some of what we have left in the cellar.

20131023_184036

To recap some of the more important lessons learned to date:

1. Turn off electric fences when weeding or working around them. While being injured by the small energizer we have is unlikely, it is still not pleasant to get zapped in the chest, leg, or (and especially) the groin.

2. A normal lawn sprinkler wastes water,  makes a big muddy mess, and is not very effective. Investing in a simple irrigation system with soaker hose, drip pipe, or dribblers as well as a watering can for spot watering is much better and also saves the hassle of moving hoses through the garden all the time.

3. Long-range weather forecasts are extremely inaccurate, either plant well after the last frost date or be prepared to protect your plants. If you do neither the dollar store can (in a pinch) be a great source of inexpensive containers to act as temporary plant covers.

4. A pressure canner and a dehydrator were smart buys and divert a lot of food away from an already overfilled freezer. Boiling water canning generally relies on foods being acidic or sweet – and there is a limit on how much relish and jam you can use in a year! A pressure canner lets you pack most foods in water or their own juices. The dehydrator handles most of the herbs as well as vegetable cubes that can be added to soups and stews. Throw in a food mill for saucing (and seeding) tomatoes too.

Advertisements
Link

Christian Jax Paleo Recipes

Just a quick link today to the site of a long-time friend and co-worker who has compiled and/or created lots of great recipes – even if you are not on a paleo/caveman diet I am confident you will find something here to try.

Baked Pumpkin Custard

Sometimes it is funny how one thing leads to something totally different. Case in point the local forecast here calls for a late frost, which got me to thinking about what I needed to do to protect our vegetables, which made me inventory what was planted, which includes pumpkins. This obviously led to thoughts of pumpkin pie, which reminded me that I had meant to post the recipe a few weeks ago and had not gotten around to it.

I found this on the website of the Kennedy Chiropractic Wellness Centre in Toronto and thought it was both easy to make and delicious. It also keeps fairly well in the refrigerator for a few days. It is a great dessert to prepare for guests as it avoids many of the more common dietary restrictions, although the coconut milk can be a problem for some.

As usual I prefer to use my mixer, and just add all the ingredients in what I feel is an appropriate order – one less bowl to wash.

Baked Pumpkin Custard

Yield: 6 Servings

Source: Sharon Kennedy

Ingredients

3 large eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract (I prefer to use the extract I make from vanilla beans and Silent Sam Vodka)
400 ml full fat coconut milk
14 oz pumpkin puree (I personally use E.D. Smith brand when not working from fresh pumpkin)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and put a medium pot of water on to boil.

2. Use mixer with whisk to lightly beat together eggs, honey, vanilla, and coconut milk.

3. Add pumpkin and spices and use mixer with beater on low speed until well combined.

4. Divide mixture into 6 ramekins (1/2 cup capacity). Place ramekins in baking pan. Pour 2 inches of boiling water into baking pan (about 1/2 to 2/3 the height of the ramekins) then transfer baking pan to oven for 1 hour. If required continue baking in ten minute intervals until a knife inserted in the centre of the custard comes out clean.

5. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled – whichever your prefer.

Notes

I prefer to serve this dessert chilled. The first reason is that I can make it up ahead of time and leave it in the fridge. The second reason is that pumpkin just cries out for fresh (not-from-a-can) whipped cream which tends to melt back into cream on a hot dessert.

Bonus Tip: On that note here’s a great idea, particularly if you are making this for company – make your (from-scratch) whipped cream a few days in advance. Using a piping bag, or a Ziploc bag with a corner cut off, make decorative spirals or other shapes (sized for your ramekins) of whipped cream on a baking sheet covered in wax paper. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for a few hours. Once the whipped cream is solid you can transfer it to a freezer bag or plastic container. Five to ten minutes before serving pull the frozen whipped cream spirals out of the freezer and put them on your pumpkin custards.

Nutritional Information (estimated per serving)

Calories 197 • Fat 12g (Saturated Fat 12g) • Cholesterol 0mg • Sodium 209mg • Carbohydrates 20g (Dietary Fibre 2g • Sugars 13g) • Protein 2g

Robton BBQ Sauce #1

Threw together some ingredients and came up with a new BBQ sauce recipe that was pretty good with pulled pork – still need to try it with some other dishes. I call it sauce #1 because it is the first one I am adding to this blog. It has a little heat (by my standards), with a slightly lingering flavour (I presume this is principally the all-spice).

I’m going to skip my normal recipe format and since I didn’t record he yield I can’t calculate nutritional information, maybe next time I make a batch I will remember to do it. If I had to guess I would say the yield is about 2 cups. I have put the brands I used in the ingredient list {in the braces} but use whatever is your favourite (or local) brand. All the other ingredients were from the bulk food store.

3 Chipotle peppers and 2 tsp Adobo Sauce, pureed {Hernandez}
1/4 cup unsulphured (aka Barbados style) molasses
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce {Lea & Perrins}
1/4 cup honey
1 cup ginger ale {Canada Dry}
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion flakes
455ml bottle chili sauce {Heinz}
1/4 tsp all-spice

1. Mix all ingredients in medium saucepan;

2. Bring just to a boil over medium heat;

3. Simmer on medium low heat stirring occasionally until reduced by about 1/2 (or to your preferred consistency);

4. Use.

Pretzel Bites

So now, as alluded to in the previous post, is the second recipe; and what could better compliment beer and cheddar soup than warm soft pretzels. A seemingly perfect flavour pairing. In contrast to the soup where things are done to taste this recipe is followed with timers, thermometers, and scales. I will assume you have a stand mixer with a dough hook or can figure out mixing and kneading the dough.

Credit for the original recipe belongs to Alton Brown, yet another Food Network celebrity.

Pretzel Bites
Yield: About 60 bite sized pretzels
Source: Food Network

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups warm water (115°F)
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp kosher salt
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
22 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
2 oz unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil
10 cups water
2/3 cup baking soda
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp water
finishing salt

Instructions
Pour water, sugar, and kosher salt into bowl of stand mixer – check the temperature is 110-115°F then sprinkle yeast into mixture. Allow yeast to bloom (about 5 minutes)
Add flour and melted butter and with a dough hook mix on low speed until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. The dough should look smooth and satiny.
Lightly oil a large mixing bowl then place the dough in the bowl. Cover bowl with a clean damp cloth and put somewhere warm and draft-free to rise 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment, set 10 cups of water on to boil in a large pot.
Divide the dough into 6 roughly equal portions and roll each portion into a rope about 1 inch in diameter (for me it’s about the size of my thumb) then cut the rope into about 10 equal pieces (I use two thumb-widths as my guide). Try not to twist the rope as you roll it out.
Carefully add the baking soda to the boiling water (don’t have your face over the pot).
CAUTION: The baking soda allows the water to achieve temperatures well above the normal boiling point of water – it will scald you much faster than normal boiling water and steam. If the pot is foaming too much a tiny amount of cold water will help. Also because the water is so hot it will evaporate more quickly – top up the water as required.
Boil pretzel bites for 30 seconds in batches of 6-8. Remove with a skimmer, sieve, spider or slotted spoon, allow to drain and place on baking sheet.
Beat egg yolk and and tablespoon of water together then brush pretzels. Sprinkle with a small pinch of finishing salt on each pretzel bite.
Bake 12 minutes or until golden brown then remove to cooling rack. Enjoy.

Notes
When ‘proofing’ the yeast water temperature does make a difference – use a thermometer.
While I don’t list it in the steps above, when I move the dough from the mixer to the oiled bowl I gather and stretch the dough into a ball with only one ‘seam’, I turn the dough in the bowl so it is very lightly coated in oil, and leave it seam down in the bowl to rise.
If my oven is not in use I prefer to rise my dough there. In cold weather, warm your oven on it’s lowest setting for 1 or 2 minutes before putting the dough in.
If you are having a hard time rolling the dough out, dampen your hands with clean cold water.
My choice of finishing salt is mediterannean sea salt from Just A Pinch, but feel free to use any finishing salt you like – I do suggest sticking to finer grains or flakes and not coarse crystals.

Nutritional Information (Estimated per morsel)
Calories 45 • Fat <1g (Saturated Fat <1g) • Cholesterol 2mg • Sodium 79mg • Carbohydrates 8g (Dietary Fibre >1g • Sugars >1g) • Protein 1g

Cheddar and Beer Soup

Looks like today is going to be a two recipe day, but for ease of looking things up later (since the blog seems to be doubling as my impromptu cookbook) I am going to put them in two separate posts although I think they are great compliments to one another.

This first recipe is an adaptation of an adaptation of a… well you get the idea. It originates from Food Network Canada’s Chef Michael Smith – but I have based my adaptation on the recipe given by Dinner with Julie. I did however follow Michael Smith’s philosophy that when cooking a recipe is just a guideline or inspiration and one does not need to be slavishly bound by it.

The estimated nutrition information is not for the faint of heart (figuratively and literally) but if you are looking for a rich tasting soup for that special occasion look no further. Serve with crusty bread, artisan crisps…. or pretzel bites.

20130327-023702.jpg

Cheddar and Beer Soup
Yield: 8 entree servings
Source: Dinner With Julie

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter (salted)
2 medium onion; puréed
2 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely minced
2 stalks of celery; coarsely minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup chicken stock
1 cup 35% cream (aka heavy or whipping cream)
16 fl oz dark lager (***I use 1 tallboy of Waterloo Original Dark)
300g old cheddar, shredded
kosher salt
black pepper
1-2 dash worcestershire sauce

Instructions
In a large pot melt butter over medium heat then cook onion puree for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add minced carrots and celery cooking for another 2-4 minutes.
Add flour, stirring until vegetables are well coated.
Add chicken stock, cream, and lager. Simmer on medium heat stirring occasionally (reduce heat if it starts boiling) for 8-10 minutes.
Stir in grated cheddar until melted then season with salt, pepper, and worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve immediately.

Notes
The final consistency I aim for with this recipe is somewhere between a thick soup and a thin chowder.
With a food processor this is an exceedingly easy meal to prep! Puree the onions while the butter melts; while the onions cook pulse the carrots a few times then add the celery and pulse a few more times until you achieve a coarse mince. While the soup simmers, grate/shred your cheese.
I have given the cheese measurement by weight because I find it much easier to buy and to measure a specific weight of cheese.

Nutritional Information (Estimated per serving)
Calories 421 • Fat 35g (Saturated Fat 23g) • Cholesterol 110mg • Sodium 560mg • Carbohydrates 12g (Dietary Fibre 1g • Sugars 3g) • Protein 11g

Shortbread, sort of…

Today’s challenge: make a variation on shortbread that has no gluten, and no refined sugars. Since the basic ingredients of shortbread are flour, refined sugar, and butter it was a little daunting to try and come up with a recipe that would more or less meet the bill.

After researching a large number of shortbread recipes and tips, tips on gluten-free baking, I hit the kitchen for some experimentation and after a couple attempts changing proportions and baking times, came up with the recipe that follows below.

For the shortbread purists of the world (and there seem to be many of you) this recipe will probably not stand up to your scrutiny, it has a touch too much ‘grit’ to it because it only uses rice flour and it has undertones of honey not found in a traditional shortbread. Notwithstanding, I will still chalk this up as an overall success – I have foisted samples on a number of people who all enjoyed it, and that is what really matters to me.

20130110-174352.jpg

Shortbread, sort of…

Yield: about 25 cookies

Source: A robton original

Ingredients

1 cup butter, salted
2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup white honey

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees.
  2. Cut together butter, flour, cornstarch, and honey with pastry blender (or stand mixer) until well combined.
  3. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, then turn out dough onto sheet.
  4. Gently pat (or roll) dough to roughly 1/2″ thickness (dust with more rice flour if it is sticking to your hands). Prick all over with a fork (if desired).
  5. Bake for 5 minutes at 400F, then reduce temperature to 250F and bake 20 minutes longer.
  6. Turn off oven, cut dough into desired shape with pizza cutter (petticoat tails, bars/squares).
  7. Return to the turned off oven, with door propped open (use a wooden spoon if your door doesn’t stay open a crack on it’s own) for 10 minutes more.
  8. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Enjoy.
Notes:
The shortbread should be slightly soft and golden when you take it out at the end of step 5. They will firm up as they cool.
Pricking the shortbread with a fork helps it cook more “evenly”, and looks more traditional, however it will turn out fine if you don’t do this.
If you don’t mind your shortbread being a little more caramelized on the outside, you can just bake it at 325F for 20 minutes instead of playing with the oven temperature.
I suspect this recipe could easily be adapted with vegan butter, if that’s your thing… but no I have not tried it.
Nutritional Information (estimated per cookie)
Calories 148 • Fat 7g (Saturated Fat 4g) • Cholesterol 20mg • Sodium 55mg • Carbohydrates 19g (Dietary Fibre 0g • Sugars 5g) • Protein 0g

Kosher-Style Full Sour Pickles

Alison Roman provided a great recipe through Bon Appetit for full sour kosher pickles. While I am not a big fan of pickles, these ones are pretty darn good, and the pickle lovers in my life seem to agree. I have reposted the recipe with very minor alterations that I made.

I did not have cucumbers in the garden this year, so I picked up a few baskets at the farmer’s market and made 13 litres at once. For best results make sure you get your cucumbers as fresh as possible and start preparing them right away.

I also give fair warning for the squeamish: some mold will likely grow on top of the brine during fermentation – this is normal. Just skim it off regularly as highlighted in the USDA guidelines for pickled vegetables, which can be found here (see guide 6).

20120929-024041.jpg

Kosher Style Pickles

Yield: 2 x 1 litre jars

Source: Alison Roman’s Recipe

Ingredients

3-4 lbs Pickling cucumbers (#1 or #2 size)
8 cloves garlic
10 sprigs dill or baby dill

Brine:

1/4 cup kosher salt
1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1/4 cup pickling vinegar (7% acetic acid) – normal white vinegar (5%) will also work
2 cups water

Instructions
1. As soon as you bring the cucumbers in the house get them scrubbed and trim off both ends slightly, discarding any that are discoloured, rotten, or badly bruised. Put them to soak in cold water overnight.
2. The following day bring 1/2 cup water, and the salt, sugar, peppercorns and coriander seed to a boil.
3. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 cups water and vinegar.
4. Sterilize 1 litre jars
5. Into each jar put 3 sprigs dill and 2 cloves of garlic, fill with cucumbers leaving as little space as possible between the pickles, top with 2 sprigs dill and 2 more cloves of garlic.
6. Ladle brine into each jar: I recommend adding 1 ladle of brine to each jar, then a second to each jar, and so on; I end by using a tablespoon to divide the spices which sit at the bottom of brine as equally as possible between the jars.
7. If you run out of brine top up each jar with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water. Ensure all the cucumbers are submerged in the brine (use a clean sandwich bag with something heavy to weigh down the cucumbers if needed.)
8. Cover each jar with cheesecloth attached by a rubber band and place in a cool (70-75°F), dark place.
9. After 2 days start skimming any scum or mold off the top every day or two. Top up the brine with 50/50 vinegar and water as required to keep pickles covered.
10. After 7 days, begin daily taste testing of a small slice from a pickle. When it is sour to your liking remove the cheesecloth put on a jar lid and put in the refrigerator for use within 4-6 months. At this point the pickles should be a nice olive colour.
Notes:

If you are planning on canning the pickles and have a large vat available it is probably better to follow the USDA recommended method of fermenting the pickles in one container and then canning them. If you want to do it this way, when you are finished fermenting the pickles bring the brine to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, transfer the pickles to sterilized jars, cover with hot brine and seal in a boiling water canner for 15 minutes (adjust for altitude). The criticism with this method is that the heat can cause the pickles to be a little less crisp.

During step 1 I also put all the pickles into jars before I soak them overnight, this gives me an idea how much brine I need to make.
You may also slice the cucumbers in any manner you wish, but if you do you should start checking the sourness by the second day as they will ferment faster.
Some things you might see – blue or blue/green garlic: your garlic was too fresh, it is safe to eat though. Pink pickles: your cucumbers were overripe. Cloudy brine: this can be either a good or bad sign, and can be caused by many different things – If you are worried about it check your pickles step by step: smell, texture (crisp not mushy, mushy usually means spoiled), and if these are good then taste.
Nutritional Information
Not available.

Dirty Rice; Arsenic in Rice.

No recipe today, just a rambling thought on a news story from today.

Consumer Reports has released an article “Arsenic in your food: Our findings show a real need for federal standards for this toxin” about Arsenic in American rice and rice products. All of a sudden it is international headline news that there is arsenic in rice.

I am no scientist, hydrologist, or an expert on rice growing but I do not understand how this rates as front-page news – how are we surprised by this? Let’s consider the majority of the world’s rice trade, not just the U.S.

According to Reuters the largest exporters of rice as of 2010 were:

  1. Thailand
  2. Vietnam
  3. Pakistan
  4. India
  5. Cambodia
  6. Uruguay
  7. China
  8. Egypt
  9. Argentina
  10. Brazil

 

The first two on the list export about 15 million metric tons which is about 5 million tons more than the rest of the list put together.

According to Wikipedia some common uses of Arsenic are: Wood Preservation, Pesticides, Disease Control in Animal feed, Chemical Weapons and Defoliants, Lead Car Batteries, Semi-Conductors, Bronzing, Pyrotechnics, Manufacturing Optical Glass

For all the “green” people arsenic also comes from the effluent of geothermal energy plants.

Now lets consider the following (keeping in mind once again I am not a scientist and am not distinguishing organic from inorganic arsenic):

The U.S. ‘neutralized’ chemical weapons containing arsenic in the 1950’s and dumped them in the Gulf of Mexico – Again I am no hydrologist but I do not think it is unreasonable to imagine in the intervening 60 years that soluble arsenic could have been carried into the Gulf Stream across the Atlantic, and filtered into the South Equatorial Current and made its way into the Brazil Current which passes Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. Nor is it impossible for me to believe that a contaminant could spread from the Gulf to U.S. states near the Gulf of Mexico, particularly with the number of storms that blow north off the gulf.

On the topic of chemical weapons, we all know the U.S. made extensive use of defoliants in the Vietnam War (famously Agent Orange). Another chemical used called Agent Blue contained what types of chemical compounds? You’re right – arsenic based ones. Agent Blue’s main purpose and target? To destroy rice and other crops, so it was delivered right to the rice paddies in Vietnam. It was also alleged that sprays were used over Cambodia and Laos to ruin Vietnamese supply lines. Ironically, the ocean currents in the Bay of Thailand flow up the coast from Vietnam past Cambodia to Thailand. I am also confident that the monsoons could spread contamination around the Mainland South East Asia.

What country produces about 90% of the world’s Pyrotechnics? China, of course. How about the world’s largest producer of semi-conductors. China. Until a recent policy change China was also the largest manufacturer of Lead Car Batteries. China and Brazil are both among the world’s largest manufacturers of bronze. Not aiming to pick on China, but their environmental policies have until recently been pretty non-existent. Of course if we want to consider the bigger picture the ‘Western World’ is mostly to blame – after all we demand low cost goods and export most of our dirty work to foreign countries with lax environmental policy and cheap labour. The issue of green-washing and shadow factories is a separate issue from arsenic in rice so we will end this tangent at that.

How about arsenic in e-waste? This is a huge issue in many countries, but is possibly most notable in India where an entire black market of e-waste “recycling” still exists. While the government of India is working to curb the problem, there is still a giant problem with the lowest classes melting down e-waste in open fires and acid baths to recover the precious metals used in electronics. I have to wonder, how much arsenic gets into the ground water when burning semi-conductors?

While not a large user of arsenic in modern terms, Egypt has a long history with arsenic… It was used as a pigment since the time of pharaohs; it naturally occurs in much of their native copper and of course is used for bronze; a few thousand years worth of arsenic build-up might cause a little contamination.

This does not even consider naturally occurring arsenic in soils and ground water which is of particularly high concentration in the rice exporting parts of South America; Case in point the World Bank funded over 10,000 wells to be drilled into the Guarani Aquifer in Uruguay with no water testing done – you can probably guess what is in high concentration in the aquifer. I have also not mentioned the use of agricultural pesticides, herbicides, etc containing arsenic around the world for the better part of the last century.

Coming full circle to the Consumer Reports article which states that the FDA has no federal standard for Arsenic in foods, what they fail to mention is that the World Health Organization set a tolerable intake level of food-based arsenic of 3μg/kg body weight per day. It also does not call attention to the fact that the 4 states reported to have the highest arsenic levels in their rice crops are adjacent, and are the four states that share the Mississippi Embayment – Texas Coastal Uplands Aquifer System, west of the Mississippi River. But maybe that is just a coincidence – I am after all not a scientist.

I knew lots of university students who existed on a constant diet of rice and instant soup – none of them (to my knowledge) ever had arsenic poisoning, but the jury is still out on whether or not all that rice will contribute to them having cancer.

Perhaps I am a little jaded but I am starting to think it would be easier on humanity if we assume everything we come in contact with will cause cancer until the media announces otherwise.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

Perhaps I am getting a little ahead of myself putting up this recipe, since the jam is still warm, and hasn’t had a chance to set, let alone been tried, but I can always edit the post if need be 😉

The rhubarb I used was harvested from our garden in the spring, blanched, and has been sitting in the freezer since then. After thawing it there was about two cups of rhubarb pulp and about two cups of ‘rhubarb-water’ that I poured off and reserved. If you are using fresh rhubarb you will need to use your own discretion on how much to add (I would guess 3-4 cups pureed).

For a boiling water canner, I am just using a big stock pot with a rack/trivet thrown in and bought a kit with a canning funnel, jar lifter, a little magnetic lid grabber, and a head space ruler. The tools cost about $15.00, whereas a complete water canning kit was $55.00. If you are looking for canning supplies, I suggest Wal-mart or Canadian Tire.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

Yield: 8x 250ml (1/2 pt) jars

Ingredients

4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
2 cups rhubarb pulp, pureed
1 cup ‘rhubarb water’
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp butter
1 package pectin (I used Certo brand)
6 cups sugar, white, granulated

Equipment

boiling water canner, canning tools and jars
large stock pot or dutch oven
potato masher or stick blender
candy thermometer

Directions

(I will skip most of the canning instructions, there are a lot of good sources for that on the internet already)

1. Put strawberries, rhubarb puree and water, lemon juice, butter, and pectin in stock pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally until steaming and butter begins to melt.
2. Add sugar 1 cup at a time, stirring regularly; ensure sugar is fully dissolved before adding more.
3. Mash or blend jam mixture to desired consistency (some people like fruit chunks in jam);
4. Increase heat to medium high, stirring constantly. Continue increasing heat in small increments until mixture reaches 100 C (212 F). It should be at a rolling boil (be careful of hot jam spatter). While continuing to stir adjust temperature as needed to keep jam between 100-105C (212-220 F) for 2-3 minutes. If desired, test the jam by dipping a spoon in it and sticking the spoon in a fridge or freezer for 10 seconds. If it looks and tastes and feels like jam, then it probably is 🙂
5. Turn off heat and begin canning (if you work quickly you should be able to pour it into jars while it is liquid so you do not have to worry about releasing air bubbles). Leave a 1/4 inch head spacing, and boil jars for 5-15 minutes. Allow to cool undisturbed at least 12 hours. Begin enjoying.

Nutritional Information (estimated per tablespoon)

Calories 40 • Fat 0g (Saturated Fat 0g) • Cholesterol 0mg • Sodium 1mg • Carbohydrates 10g (Dietary Fibre 0g • Sugars 9g) • Protein 0g