Tag Archives: rhubarb

Preserving Rhubarb

Like most people, we have more rhubarb than we know what to do with. After all, there are a limited number of things you can do with rhubarb, and all of them involve a LOT of sugar to tone down the sharp flavor.  During the harvesting period of spring through the end of June (in my zone 3-4), our daughter usually makes us pans of rhubarb crisp, rhubarb muffins and rhubarb cake to enjoy.  She loves to bake and we love to eat her creations.

This year I decided to attempt preserving some rhubarb to enjoy past its short season.  My first project was to make some simple rhubarb jam.  My husband’s co-worker had an easy recipe for refrigerator jam.

Simple Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

6 c. diced rhubarb

3 c. sugar

Combine and sit at room temperature for 4 hours.

Heat mixture to boiling for 10 minutes.  Add 3 oz. package of strawberry gelatin.

Pour into canning jars.

I am not an expert at canning, or anything else for that matter, but I am trying to learn more each summer as I try to preserve food from the garden.  I boiled the jars of jam in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes just to seal them up.

The resulting jam was very tasty and the consistency out of the fridge was good.

The next recipe I attempted was this ginger rhubarb chutney recipe that I found over at tigress in a pickle.  I discovered her blog a few months ago, along with her companion site, tigress in a jam.  These sites are great resources if you are looking for a collection of recipe ideas for preserving your garden bounty.  In addition to standard pickling and jam recipes, you will find unique and creative recipes with some wild flavor combinations.

Anyhow, this sweet, tangy, and intensely flavored chutney turned out delicious.  After finishing a batch, my daughter and I took some fresh bread with a piece of cheese and put a scoop of chutney on top to test it out.  I loved it and to my surprise, she did too!  Over the weekend, we smoked some pork chops and covered it with the warm chutney, which was also a great pairing.

What other ideas are out there for using or preserving all that rhubarb?

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Filed under Food, Freezing and Canning, Gardens, Vegetable

Mixed Feelings on the Signs of Spring

March has been unseasonably warm so far this year (although it sounds as though temperatures are expected to return to normal by the weekend).  With temperatures sneaking into the 60’s several days already, the snow has completely melted and signs of spring are everywhere.  Generally speaking, I welcome the signs of spring.  It means that soon I will be back in my flower and vegetable gardens.

Over the weekend I found this little gem in the flower garden in front of the house.  It was such a sweet surprise and reminder of spring.  This lone violet was the first sign of life in my perennial garden.

The last few warm days have brought other perennials out from their winter sleep.  Seedum and Ajuga intertwine here.

A volunteer Lamium plant also has greened up under the shrubs by the house.

Even the vegetable garden is showing signs of life.  The rhubarb plants broke through the ground in the last few days.  I think their appearance is premature and I’m a little worried about how they will fare when the cold weather returns this weekend.  They are tough plants though and will likely recover quickly from any setbacks.

Along with the lovely perennial plants and vegetables, some unwelcome signs of spring have also appeared.  DANDELIONS are already popping up all over.  This Stella de’Oro daylilly is fighting for space with this huge dandelion.

Dandelions and grass have also showed up among my peonies.  I am not opposed to using herbicides on these rogue weeds and hope to eliminate them before the flower plants get much bigger.  It is time to get out the Roundup and blast these pesky weeds.  I need to wait for a calm day, however, so I don’t kill my flowers.

And this weed…it is all over in my bed of peonies and I’m not sure what it is.  It used to grow in abundance in the cow pastures when I was growing up, but I don’t know the technical name.  Any ideas?  It also needs to go.

Spring time also brings a reminder that we have a dog.  Our dear Sofie, that we enjoy in so many ways, definitely manages to leave her mark from her quick trips outside the house during the cold winter months.

In contrast to the healthy green lawn that she graces above, is the spotted lawn that appears every spring.  This spring is no different, and we will need to re-seed these areas.

The weeds popping up all over and the dead spots in the lawn are the frustrating signs of spring.  But my excitement over the perennial flowers and vegetables that are appearing easily outweighs these irritations.  I am ready to get in the dirt and start gardening.  Unfortunately, it is only March!

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Filed under Daily life, Gardens