Shirley’s Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

Rhubarb-Strawberry-Jam-ShirleyWe featured this recipe in a recent edition of the “Preserving the Harvest” newsletter from Mrs. Wages. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds fresh rhubarb, finely chopped
½ cup water
2 pints of red, ripe strawberries
1 package Mrs. Wages® Fruit Pectin Home Jell
6 cups granulated sugar

Directions
1.  Prepare 6 8-ounce jelly jars by sterilizing in boiling water or running them through the rinse cycle in the dishwasher; keep hot.  Fill a boiling water bath canner half full of hot water and bring to a simmer; cover and keep hot.

2.  Place water and rhubarb in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover.  Cook over low heat until rhubarb is tender.  Remove from heat.

3.  Wash and stem strawberries.  Crush well with a potato masher or food processor.  Measure out 2 ¼ cups of prepared strawberries and place in a non-reactive pan.  Measure 1 ¾ cups prepared rhubarb and add to the strawberries and mix well.

4.  Stir the pectin into the strawberry mixture and bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Stir in sugar and return mixture to a full rolling boil and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and skim off any foam that has formed on the top of the jam.

5.  Ladle the hot jam into the hot jars leaving ¼-inch of head space.  Clean the rims of the jars and add lids prepared according to the manufacturer’s directions.  Place screw bands on finger tight.  Place the jars of jelly in the rack in the boiling water bath canner, making sure that the water is at least 1-inch over the tops of the jars.  Cover the canner and bring to a boil, process for 10 minutes.  Remove the canner from the burner and remove the lid; keep the jars in the canner for an additional 5 minutes then remove them to a cooling rack or towel.  Allow the jars to cool completely and check for seals.  Label and store.  (If a jar fails to seal, refrigerate and use within one month.)

Safe Canning Tips in Flood or Drought

By Shirley Camp, MS, LD, RDN, retired University of Illinois Extension master canner and educator

WATERDRIPGardens too wet or too dry?  It seems as though across the country this year we have a variety of conditions in our home gardens.  When we are growing produce to feed our families, both fresh consumption and preserving for later, how do we know which produce is safe and which we should compost?

When gardens have been flooded whether or not the produce is safe to consume depends on a number of conditions.  Most importantly, the cleanliness of the floodwater is to be considered; has the floodwater been contaminated by sewage, river or creek water, run-off from farms, or industrial pollutants?  If the answer to any of these is yes, for safety the produce should be discarded if it has been touched by floodwater.

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4 canning tips for great jams and jellies

Four-Canning-Tips-for-Great-Jams-and-JelliesStrawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and other berries are wonderful foods for making jams, jellies and preserves.  Of course half of the fun of doing this was always going to the “patch” to pick the fruit and enjoying some sneak bites as we filled the buckets.

But here are four tips that go beyond the patch … Continue reading