We’ve got a really tasty (and healthy) post this week. What else would you expect?
Recipe(s) of the Week
MorningStar Retreat Center Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
(Inversion Canning Method) by Mary Weber
Use strawberries and rhubarb from your farmer’s market or local farmer. Conventionally grown strawberries contain high levels of pesticide residue; choose organic or locally grown without pesticides. Rhubarb needs to be well fertilized; a natural fertilizer like manure is the best choice. Always ask the grower/seller about pesticide and fertilizer use. Use organic sugar since greater than 80% of non-organic sugar available in the United States has been genetically modified.
To create 8 cups of beautiful, delicious Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam you will need:
2 pounds fresh rhubarb stalks
1½ quarts fresh strawberries
4 cups organic cane or beet granulated sugar
1 package of low sugar sure-jell fruit pectin (pink box)
8 one cup jelly jars with rings and lids (or other sizes to contain 8 cups of jam.
Get jars, rings, and lids cleaned and ready for canning. Process lids as recommended by the manufacturer. Jars should be heated in boiling water and still very hot when filling with jam.
Wash and cut rhubarb stalks into ¼ inch pieces. Put in saucepan with ¼ cup water. Cook covered on medium low for 20-30 minutes until rhubarb is mush. Watch for sticking and boiling over. Measure out 3 cups of mush for the jam. (Any extra is great with a little honey or sugar added as an ice cream topping.
Wash, hull, and crush strawberries with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups for the jam. (Again any extra is great with or without sweetening, plain or on ice cream or shortcake.)
Into a large mixing bowl, carefully measure out 4 cups of sugar. Then in a smaller bowl place the contents on one package of pectin and ¼ cup of the sugar from the large bowl and mix.
In a 6 quart saucepan put the measured rhubarb mush and crushed strawberries. Add the pectin-sugar mixture and stir. Heat until boiling. Then add all the remaining sugar at once and continue to heat. When this reaches a boil that cannot be stirred down, boil one full minute, stirring constantly. Take off heat. Skim foam for a clearer looking jam. (The foam is great on sandwiches too.)
Ladle jam into hot jars leaving only 1/8 inch headspace. Wipe each rim with a clean wet cloth or paper towel to assure an excellent seal. Apply hot ring and lid. Hand-tighten firmly and place jar upside down on a clean towel. Return jar to upright position after 5 to 10 minutes. You will soon hear the lid seal with a pop.
Though most sources now suggest the water bath canning method even for jam, I have used the inversion method for 40 years with jam with only 2 jars ever showing signs of spoilage.
(TEA) Lemon Balm / Melissa Officinalis Did You Know? The stems of lemon balm plants – and all other plants in the same family such as mint – have squared stems.
Lemon balm is used to treat the flu, colds, coughs and fevers as well as nervousness, crying, sadness and whining. It is also used on wounds and sores. This lemon balm tea recipe is perfect for many conditions, and has no dodgy side effects like some bought medicines may have.
- Pick a large handful of fresh lemon balm leaves from your garden. Be careful not to pick too many from just one stem, but picking a few from each will help your balm grow more.
- Put the lemon balm leaves into a teapot or jug.
- Pour boiling water into the pot.
- Cover and leave for 15 minutes.
- Strain and pour into cups.
- (Optional: ) Put some honey onto a spoon and stir into the cup of lemon balm tea. Sprinkle with cocoa.
About Lemon Balm and this recipe–I was weeding our patch yesterday and was actually able to get my nieces involved helping in the garden by starting them on this pungent herb. It was fun watching them look for the little lemons (wink wink). We will be bringing some fresh cut bunches to market this week. I found the above recipe on a fellow bloggers site (the address is http://thebatamonblog.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/lemon-balm-melissa-officinalis).
Upcoming Events This Saturday (Please pass the word)
Razzasque raffle tickets will be available.
Glen VanAntwerp, always a favorite, will be demonstrating wood carving.
Goods and Produce Currently Available
Found in The Woods: Asparagus, Rhubarb, Garden Plants and Marigolds, Lettuce, Dried Herbs, Coffee, Wild Onions and Fresh Lemon Balm.
The Plump Pumpkin: Bar Soap-$5, Fresh Ground Peanut Butter-$8 pint $16 qt., Almond Butter-$9 pint $18 qt.
Brenda Bunnell and daughter Wendy: Cookies, Jewelry and House Plants.
And of course, much more.
See you soon, Brian