Sunday, July 11, 2010

Rhubarb Jam and Pickled Asparagus

 We are going to be preserving food today in this post, but I actually did this in July, but forgot to post about it.
Jessica had the day off from school so she helped me chop, cook and pour the rhubarb jam into the jars. Thank you Jessica.
The rhubarb jam was a cinch. Wash and dice six cups of rhubarb. Put it into a stainless steel pot add 3 cups of sugar and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Take off the heat and add one 3 0z. package of cherry or strawberry Jello, and a third of a package of orange Jello. Put jam into clean containers. Leave 1 inch head space for freezing. Allow the jam to sit over night and then freeze. Makes four pints of jam.
I only have enough asparagus ready for five pint jars. While I cut the asparagus, the vinegar, water and salt are heating on the stove (this will be the liquid poured over asparagus in the jars.)
Before adding asparagus I place a red chili pepper, a teaspoon of black peppercorns and a teaspoon of minced garlic. I grew the red peppers last summer and froze them. I like to buy the mince garlic in the large glass jars. I divide them up and freeze them in small containers to keep them fresh. When I need garlic I can easily dip into the container.
I lay my jar sideways and measure my asparagus spears to fit. I want the red pepper to show in front so I lay the asparagus on top of it.
The spears in front are laid right side up so they look pretty, and the ones behind are a mix of up and down spears, so they will fit inside the jar.
Next I ladle the hot vinegar mixture into the jars.
It's important to wipe off the rims so that lids will seal properly.
When canning lids mus be new. Place clean hot lids onto jars. Rings go over these and may be new or reused. Take care not to over tighten the rings.
Place jars into hot water bath, making sure water covers jars by at least one inch. Cover and bring water up to a boil. Once the water is boiling set the timer for 11 minutes for pints.
Test asparagus lids by pressing the center. They should be snugly tight and not making a continuous popping sound when pressed. The rhubarb lids will make that sound when pressed because they are not sealed. They will be going into the freezer. You may reuse lids and rings for freezing. Use the Ball Blue Book for safe canning. "Turn my life away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word."
Psalm 119:37

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