Google+ What I Made Today: May 2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ready with Rhubarb Preserves

Today I inventoried and cleaned my pantry and was pleased with all the food, still on hand, that I've put away over the past year or two. I reorganized and consolidated the shelves to make ready for the 2013 preserves and to support using what's oldest first. I also organized my empty canning jars by size, mouth-size, bail or screw lid.

So I made ready for the first of this season's preserves and placed the loving jars of rhubarb preserves, grape jelly and cranberry jelly that I made yesterday on their place in the pantry cabinet. All are delicious, by the way.

I modified last year's recipe for the rhubarb preserves by doubling the amount of rosehips and orange peel, and I'm very happy with the outcome. Here's what I did:

16 cups rhubarb, chopped
1 cup dried rose hips
1/2 cup dried orange peel
4 cups cane sugar

Combine in a pot, cover and let sit for 8-12 hours. Bring to boil. Simmer until soft. Pack into half-pint/pint jars. Seal. Process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Let cool. Check the seal. And enjoy!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Pickled Rhubarb

Well, it's rhubarb season here on my little acre, so today I started a batch of tried-n-true rhubarb preserves (which my neighbor has dubbed "rhubalade"). It will sit overnight to be processed tomorrow. It already smells good. And tastes good. More on that tomorrow.

I'm always seeking new things to do with rhubarb, since I have so much of it, and today I discovered a recipe for picked rhubarb on spoon fork bacon. So I took that recipe and adapted it to try out a small batch. I'll taste a jar in a couple-few weeks to see how I like it and if it is worthy of keeping with-r-without further adaptations. Here's my adapted recipe:

Rhubarb Pickles
10 cups rhubarb, cut into 1” pieces

1/2 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/3 cup black peppercorns
1/4 cup coriander seeds
2 teaspoon cumin, ground
4 teaspoon chili flakes

1 star anise - to each jar

5 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup kosher salt
2/3cup granulated cane sugar

Sterilize 7 pint jars and lids. 
Clean and cut rhubarb, set aside.
Measure vinegar and water into a pot.
Measure mustard seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes and add to the vinegar/water pot. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then simmer until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.

Spoon the rhubarb into your sterilized jars, fill with the hot liquid and spices, add one star anise to each pint. Remove air bubbles and cap. Process in a hot water bath for about 20 minutes.

Yeah. That's what I made today.


ADDENDUM: I wasn't happy with the outcome of this and won't be making it again. And I have a pretty adventurous palate. Be warned.

Friday, May 17, 2013

An Effort

Today I attended a gathering with some of the most amazing women I know. It's a business meeting, but one that holds the utilitarian and mysterious together in such a holistically natural way. I've never experienced this before. I almost skipped the meeting, but was so glad that I dragged myself to it, for the expressions shared there nourished and motivated me in ways that were much needed.

Not that I knew it at the time.

Much like the wild strawberry blossom that is what it is in the moment, without thought of the berry it will become.

I am glad and grateful for the buds and blossoms in my world. I am glad and grateful for the fruits that make manifest. I am glad and grateful for these relationships that I have in my life.