It’s Canada Day today and it’s a Wednesday. I’m not complaining about having a holiday at any time, but it kind of has the same effect that moving our Daylight Savings Time around — it throws my sense of timing right out the window. Last night felt like a Friday, and I have to keep reminding myself it’s not the weekend yet.
I’m taking advantage of the extra time off to get busy with the flat of strawberries I picked up while I was at the farm visiting my family last weekend. I’ve made three batches of jam, I’ve frozen about three quarts, made a big batch of fresh strawberry ice cream and I still have a bowl full left. I think Chris and I will just eat those with some whipped cream today.
I had some challenges with my jam, specifically with foam. I used regular powdered pectin, and followed pretty standard jam recipes. I just could not seem to get all of the foam skimmed off, and when I tried, half the fruit wanted to come with it. It was rather frustrating and a lot of my jam is two tone, because the foam/fruit separated from the liquid. Oh well. Everything set very well, and it tastes great, which is what really counts.
I’m particularly impressed with the Rhubarb Lavender Jam, a recipe I originally got from Straight from the Farm but adapted using the powdered pectin and I added a handful or two of strawberries, because my rhubarb was mostly green and I wanted the pink colour in the jam.
My peas are nearly ready for picking already! I can’t get over how unusual and amazing these guys look. I tried one off the vine yesterday and they are divine. Can’t wait to start picking and tossing these babies into salads and pasta! Mmmmm…
I’ve been very disappointed that the city-run farmers’ markets were closed because of the CUPE strike that’s underway, but yesterday it was announced that 6 markets will begin running again after today’s holiday. What a relief, both for me as a consumer but also for the farmers, no doubt. Bring on the fresh Ontario produce!
Rhubarb Lavender Jam (with Strawberries)
Adapted from Straight from the Farm
- 4 cups of diced rhubarb and strawberries (mix to your liking)
- 5 to 8 heads of fresh lavender flowers (use florets only)
- 1/4 cup of lemon juice
- 1 package of powdered pectin
- 5 1/2 cups of sugar
- Wash, dice and mash enough fruit to measure 4 cups. Add lavender flowers.
- Add lemon juice and pectin, stir until dissolved.
- In large saucepan, bring fruit mixture to a boil, stirring regularly.
- Add sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return to a full boil that can’t be stirred down.
- Boil hard for 1 minute.
- Remove from heat; skim off any foam.
- Bottle in hot, sterilized 250 ml jars. Wipe off any drips, put on lids and lightly screw on bands (do not over tighten).
- Process in a boiling water canning bath for 10 minutes.
- Remove from bath and allow to cool completely. Any jars that haven’t sealed properly (centre of lid should be depressed, usually “pops” after being removed from the canning bath) should be frozen or refrigerated and eaten within a couple weeks. Sealed jars can be stored on the shelf, preferably where it is cool and dark.
Makes approximately 6 to 7 250 ml jars of jam.