Wednesday, June 26, 2013

From this to that. . . Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Who would have thought that four years ago when I was gifted the roots of this rhubarb plant, that by planting it I would be able to one day take this plant. . .  and

the strawberries that we planted around the same time in our ever expanding garden . .  and turn it into this yummy, fire red, sweet jam.

It was my Dad that inspired the whole long journey to this jam because of his love for rhubarb.  When I was a child he used to make a rhubarb syrup that we would use for pancakes, waffles and always on ice cream.  While I don't remember whether I liked it or whether I turned my nose up at it, which my children do on many of my dishes today, my memory is more of my Dad in the kitchen making it and how much he enjoyed rhubarb.  It brings my heart joy to think that this jam, and every successive jar that I can each year afterwards will bear the same story.  It is my greatest hope that my children will fondly recall these stories as they get older. 



  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 3 cups rhubarb
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 ounces powdered pectin
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar


  1. In a large sauce pan, combine the strawberries and rhubarb. Crush the mixture together (I use my potato masher), and then add in the lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, stirring frequently, until the rhubarb breaks apart.
  2. Prepare your canning supplies. Bring the temperature of the glass jars up by processing them in hot water for several minutes, and heat a few cups of water in a small saucepan for the lids.
  3. Stir in the pectin until dissolved. Bring back to a boil, and then add in the sugar all at once. Boil hard for a minute longer.
  4. Skim off any foam and ladle the hot jam into the hot jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.
  5. Place the lids and bands on top, screwing on the bands just until fingertip-tight. Place the full jars back into the boiling water and process 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the water and place the jars on a towel. Let the jars cool. The seals should suck down (you’ll hear a popping noise as they do). Makes 7-8 eight-ounce jars.

Source: Food Fanatic

Monday, June 17, 2013

Garden in June

May and June have been  beautiful months here on the coast in the Pacific Northwest.  I am actually in awe of this amazing weather we've had.  I was able to plant our garden a whole month early, which is why it looks the way it does as of today when I took these pictures.  Normally, I would have just put the seeds in the ground and you would have been looking at a bunch of empty boxes.
May brought us to the end of our school year.  I feel like we accomplished much; Anne completed her first year of high school, Hannah made it through multiplication tables, Lindsay's reading is improving, Abby made it through her Kindergarten workbooks and George mastered his computer game, Jumpstart, that Grandpa got him for Christmas.
Once I finish working up their "report cards". . . which is really nothing more than a recap of what we learned throughout the year. . .  I can start perusing the curriculum catalogs for next year's adventure.  I am working out a modified, "homestead" agrarian schedule for us for next year, based on Quinn's suggestion.  I'm looking forward to seeing how it works for our family.
June brought us year-end picnics, sunshine, a fun vacation to see friends from Florida, and a dance recital. 

 - So, let's walk through the pretty things blooming all over the homestead.  I just love this sage that I planted last summer. 
 - Anise Hyssop planted this year.  It has it's first blossom.
- The lemon balm has gone wild.

- Garlic

- The greenhouse addition to our garden is proving to be very productive.  Look at the tomato plants!  The peppers are in front and they seem to be doing well also!  I can see some salsa in the near future.

- Everyday, this is the scene I watch outside our side door.  Notice the chicken wire around some of the plants?  If I didn't put this wire up their dirt baths would destroy what little remaining plants I have left.  I am getting tired of sweeping up the dirt on the sidewalk, but I haven't come up with another solution for them.

And last but not least, Barn #8 for our Quilty Barn-Along with Lori Holt.    I am not sure I'm in love with this barn.  I have never, need I repeat, NEVER done a "Water Turn" block so many of my points have disappeared.  I met with my trusty seam ripper many a times during the assembly of this block.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Little Behind the Times

Barn # 7 is finally finished and up on the wall.  Being quite the critic, I noticed one of my pin wheels did not line up. . .  you can probably even see it in the picture.  After piecing together these tiny 2 1/2 inch pin wheel squares, I decided that it wasn't worth tearing out and re-doing it.  Here's hoping when I have it quilted the stitching will hide my error.

We are packing for a trip out to Yosemite National Park this week.  We are meeting up with friends from Florida who are on a month long cross country journey this summer.  Hannah is about bouncing out of her skin with excitement to see her best friend Carolyn.  If I had a nickel for everytime one of the kids has asked if we are leaving, I'd be a millionaire!  I love having happy children anxious for family time.

Our first stop tomorrow will be Pier 39 in San Francisco so that the General Manager can get a bowl of clam chowder and fish and chips for lunch.  We will not forget to get our National Park Passport stamped on our journey.

I almost have barn #8 complete, but I had to stop sewing to prepare for the trip.  If I could take my sewing machine along, I probably would. .  . alas, I must wait until we return.

Have a blessed weekend.