Tag Archives: strawberry

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

When I was a little girl, my Parents would always tell me to leave our rhubarb plant alone, because it was really poisonous and it could kill me. Soon after, my Mom would serve some sort of rhubarb dessert. It confused me to no end, why my Parents would eat a poisonous dessert on purpose!

Finally, after several uncharacteristic refusals of dessert someone explained to me that once the rhubarb was cleaned of it’s green leaf and cooked, it ceased to be poisonous. Good to know.

Rhubarb is so pretty

Rhubarb is so pretty

As an adult I’ve fallen in love with jam and jelly making. There is something wonderful about being able to preserve the bounty of your garden all year long. One of my absolute, hands-down, most popular jams is strawberry-rhubarb. Both rhubarb and strawberries thrive in my little corner of California, so during certain times of the year, I am almost guaranteed to have all the ingredients right outside my door!

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

2 cups pureed strawberries

2 cups chopped rhubarb

1 package powdered pectin

¼ cups store bought lemon juice

5 ½ cups sugar

This makes me think of spring!

This makes me think of spring!

Combine the first four ingredients in a large saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Add the sugar, stirring constantly until dissolved. Return to a boil and boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat, skim foam and ladle hot jam into sterilized hot jars, leaving an ¼ inch headspace. Adjust caps and process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

This makes excellent gifts and is breathtaking during the middle of winter! Your friends will love you!

This makes excellent gifts and is breathtaking during the middle of winter! Your friends will love you!

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, food, Garden, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe

Field Trip: UC Davis Organic Student Farm

Have I mentioned how much I love social media? It’s opened so many doors for me, especially within the last year. For example, a month or so ago I was buying everything and anything at OSH’s spring plant sale. My obsession with my garden had hit a new high, I could not be stopped. When the plant buying frenzy finally ceased, I had some herbs that, well, I didn’t know what they were or what to do with them. To Twitter I went!

I have found between twitter and pinterest almost all of my problems and questions can be solved. Like I said, it’s amazing. I follow around 1,500 people on twitter. All kinds of people – from vegans environmentalists to loggers in Canada to meat scientists to plant science PhD’s. I learn a lot and get exposed to some points of views that I normally wouldn’t. It definitely gets me out of my comfort zone – a good thing!

The plant in front is borage! Dr. Ronald told me to plant it next to a tomato plant for pest control.

I asked my twitter followers who knew about a herb called borage. I’d purchased 3 or 4 of them, because they were 99 cents at the OSH sale! But I had no clue how or where to plant them. I totally scored when Dr. Pamela Ronald tweeted me back! Yeah, you should go ahead a check her out, go here and here. Yeah, she is badass. Guess what? She invited me down to meet her and her husband and see the UC Davis Student Organic Farm!!!! To an ag nerd like me, this was very exciting.

Dr. Ronald also told me the flowers of borage are edible! Perfect for summer salads. Yum!

As I’ve been trying to explain to some of my facebook friends that accuse me of being “pro chemy” or “in Monsanto’s pocket” – agriculture isn’t like that for me. I am a supporter of agriculture – organic, natural or conventional. I want to use the best practices on my ranch that has been in my family for 6 generations. I want that ranch there for another 6! I’m trying to have a dialogue with as many people as I can, to learn as much as I can.

My next field trip will be in July. I’m going to Monsanto’s test plot in Woodland. I’m excited to contrast the organic farm and Mosanto’s test plots – I’m willing to bet they are not that different.

artichokes!

The was about half of the farm…..it was really cool.

Daniel went with me. He got dandelion greens to take home!

I met Dr. Ronald!

This strawberry had catfacing from insects.

If you plant alyssum with your berries it is a natural pest control! I learned something!

I loved the cabbages! They are neat.

Fennel!

I would like to thank Dr. Ronald for taking time out of her very busy schedule to visit with us and teach us about the organic farm. It was wonderful to learn more about a different type of agriculture. Thank you!

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Filed under Ag, Field Trip, food, photos, Uncategorized

Strawberry Honey Butter

This is perhaps the best thing I’ve ever made.

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16 oz strawberries, hulled
4 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (I used a half of meyer lemon, because I love them)
3 sticks butter, softened

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Wash your berries.

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Cut the tops off.

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Cuisinart them until they are liquid.

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See? Liquid.

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Pour the mixture through a strainer (I did not buy this especially for this blog. I did not).

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Add the honey.

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And lemon juice.

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Bring to a boil/simmer until it thickened, about 5 minutes.

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I say until it coats the back of a spoon.

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Let your butter come to room temp and put it in your mixer.

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Whip it good.

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Slowly add your room temperature strawberry/honey mixture.  I kept adding it until the butter would hold no more liquid. I ate the rest of the strawberry mixture with a spoon.

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Eat. Sorry this picture sucks, but I couldn’t stop shoving my face full of this stuff to take a proper picture. I figure this will last in your frig for about a week, I mean if you have will power.

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