Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Is that red celery??? NO IT'S RHUBARB!

Sunday after church, I was blessed with a huge bag of rhubarb from a sweet lady in our congregation.  Three years ago, I had never seen nor eaten rhubarb before.  Oh boy, what I was missing!  The last two years upon receiving bundles of this "red celery", I would wash, chop and freeze it to use later.  Today, I decided to try making jam with it.  The first canning of the year!!

I have only started canning since moving to Iowa. Something about settling in the Midwest has caused the pioneer within to emerge.  I think it's quite ironic considering I lived in California's central valley, a.k.a.the produce capital of the world, and never once canned anything.  Oh what a waste!!  But no more.  As my teenage daughter might proclaim... I am a canning BEAST!

I had one hour to can my first batch before I needed to take Eric to piano lessons.  He of course valiantly offered to forgo his lessons as a sacrifice to help his dear mother... Sweet kid.  But I felt confident in my canning abilities and took on the challenge.

1. Canning jars and rims into the dishwasher... CHECK
2. Canning pot filled with water and put on a burner to boil... CHECK

3.  Rhubarb washed  and diced.... CHECK

4.  Strawberries washed and sliced... CHECK

5.  Lemon juice, masher, rolling boil... CHECK
6.  Pectin  THEN sugar (this step has killed me several times... I have a thing about putting the sugar in before the pectin and it ruins it!)... CHECK
7.  Ladle into hot jars, seal, and set into boiling water bath... CHECK
8.  Process 5-10 minutes... CHECK
9.  Remove from bath, and wait for POP... CHECK
10. Label and store... CHECK

--Set aside a jar for the sweet lady who brought me the rhubarb.... CHECK!!

Now, off to piano lessons.

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