Shirley’s Spring Canning Checklist

It looks like the meteorologists are saying that spring will finally get here.  In the Midwest it seems as though we’ve had snow every week and that is delaying some of our preparation for gardening.  The upside is that we are getting some moisture back into the ground which will help the trees and other plants in the future months.

Keeping all that in mind, I’m offering up my five essentials for a successful canning season.

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Freezing and canning rhubarb in six easy steps

Freezing-and-Canning-Rhubarb-BlogRhubarb season is here and many folks like to put some rhubarb away for later use.  Rhubarb crisp, cakes and pies are favorites of many.  The best rhubarb is found in the spring of the year when the new shoots are tender and full of flavor.  While it is possible to can rhubarb sauce, freezing rhubarb is probably the better option. Continue reading

A Fresh Twist on Rhubarb

Balsamic-Rhubarb-SaladWe’re used to having rhubarb baked into pies and made into jellies and jams – but here’s a great recipe from the Mrs. Wages Test Kitchen that includes fresh-sliced rhubarb in a salad topped off with a balsamic vinegar. What a delicious blend of flavors!

Yield: 4 servings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

2 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Italian red wine vinegar
1Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped green onion
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 bag (6 oz) baby spinach
2 sticks mozzarella string cheese, sliced
½ cup orange segments, drained
1/4 cup golden raisins
¼ cup walnuts, chopped


1.  Preheat oven to 450°F.

2.  Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in baking pan with foil.

3.  In a small bowl, combine rhubarb and sugar; toss to coat.  Spread evenly into prepared pan.  Bake, uncovered, for 4-6 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.  Set aside to cool.

4.  Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the vinegars, oil, onion, salt and pepper.  Add spinach and toss to coat.  Divide spinach among 4 plates.  Top with the rhubarb, cheese, orange segments, raisins and walnuts.

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Puzzled about Pectin?

157049340I received a question the other day from one of our readers about liquid pectin. I thought I’d share the question and an answer with you …

Q.: “I recently used your Liquid fruit pectin for the first time. It’s consistency was completely different from other brands of liquid pectin I had used in the past. It was opaque white and very very thick. Is this correct? I made Cherry Jam using both pouches, and need to know if it is edible. Please let me know, thanks.”

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