Okay, I've been away for awhile, for those not in the know, my father passed away and I hope you have no idea the details and issues that you have to wade through when that happens. Having said that, life has a way of carrying on.
They're planning on selling the farm though so this was the last chance to get in and clean out the rhubarb before people start looking at the place so that's what we did (I say we because while Erin slaved in the sun with a paring knife and actually tackled the three plants
(and defeated them!) I did my part by sitting in the shade under one of the trees and cutting stalks into 1" pieces)
. We have approximately 75 pounds of rhubarb and I'm learning that rhubarb is one of those plants that polarizes people. I love it in almost any way, shape or form. Stewed, baked, even (when I was younger)
dipped in sugar and chewed. My father believed that mixing it with strawberries was an abomination and an insult to both fruits but he was a little hinky about stuff like that (aren't we all?)
So, straight from the Bernardin book and with very few changes (because this is like applied chemistry to me and I haven't done it enough to start tinkering yet)
. As a note, I filled in the newbie details from tigress in a jam (I LOVE her! She has a recipe for rhubarb lavendar jam and RHUBARB ROSEMARY JAM!!!)
. This is how I canned something using only one big burner on my stove.
7 cups prepared rhubarb (I think I would actually add that extra cup because the last jar had more headspace than it should have, I don't know if it will work but I'll keep it in the fridge... or I'll make a pie today)
3 large cooking apples (I used organic Braeburns)
2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (I actually juiced a big orange and took it straight)
1 Tbsp grated orange peel (hint: grate the peel before you juice the orange, I know, it should have been obvious...)
4 cups washed, hulled and halved strawberries
Gently boil everything but the strawberries for 10-15 or until the rhubarb is soft and then set aside. While this is going on, I prepared the jars and water bath in my spanky new canner (spanky new jars too. I have memories of my mom and grandmother canning mustard bean pickles in everything from old Cheez Whiz jars to this one glass mug that we had that was shaped like a boot and originally came with aftershave from Avon... I kid you not. What can I say? It was a Father's Day Present from a 5 year old. Apparently, canning has come a long way since then in terms of food safety so I played it pretty straight this time and bought proper sealing jars.)
When the rhubarb was done, I put the water on to reach 82C, I even pulled down the candy thermometer. While this was on, I prepped the strawberries and added them to the rhubarb (oooohhhhhhh, pretty)
I did the main part of the bottling at the kitchen counter with the canner on the cutting board extension and the mixture on the counter (I know, I know, you have to have seen my kitchen to get that)
. I think next time I'll try to reverse it.
Filled the jars, placed the lids, did the fingertip tight
thing and put the canner back on the burner on high to bring it to a full hard boil.
When the water was right, I moved the canner to the counter and put the rhubarb on to bring to a boil. While that was happening I went and played a computer game because it took a little while to get there. Fifteen hard boiled minutes later and I was pulling the prettiest jars out and placing them to cool. Minutes later I got to reconnect with my prairie girl heritage listening to the happy pings coming from the kitchen as the seals formed on the jars. They have to sit undisturbed for 24 hours so I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm off to... make rhubarb jam! How'd you guess?
Labels: canning, pie, rhubarb, strawberry