Monthly Archives: June 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

Hi, tis the Jam season! I really do not need more, but this jam really can be multi-purpose. I use it on ice cream, on toast, or on shortcakes.  It is super easy to make. Lots of people use pectin for jams and jellies. I say Phoowey with you all. Why buy an ingredient?? You know my secret?? Corn starch.  Yup. Thickens immediately so no figuring out if it will thicken enough or not.

Now last year I used GMO corn starch because I didnt know any better. This year I am actually going to use Arrowroot powder and see how it goes. I guess if it doesnt work I’ll be adding GMO free corn starch I bought at whole foods.  So here are the strawberries I am going to be using.

strawberries

I picked these from a friend’s house. He said he couldnt look at another strawberry…then proceeded to help my hubby and I pick lol. We will pick again tomorrow and then probably saturday. One batch to my friend Janice and the other frozen for yogurt.

Ok so my canning book says 4 cups of strawberries to 2 cups rhubarb. So that is what I did..then when I had a tad bit more rhubarb left over I dumped that in lol. Then it says to add 5 1/2 cups of sugar. Well that is always too sweet for me. This batch I added 4. When it is minutes from being done I will taste it again.

When you can rhubarb, it absorbs sugar so you always want it a tad sweeter than you normally would eat it.  All is boiling in a pot right now on the stove. Once the boil is achieved, I let it simmer for about an hour. This will make sure that all the rhubarb is soft and the berries are pretty much no existent. I always use my food processor to chop everything up before hand anyway 😉

Here it is cooking away.

jam

 

Once this boils down some and everything is pretty mushy and the foam clears up some, (thats from the sugar) then I will add the arrowroot powder/or corn starch.  If you add water to your cornstarch before you put it in, it wont clump on ya. Be sure to use cold water and just enough to dissolve the powder!  Put in enough that it thickens to your liking and then bottle it up in canning jars. I hot water bath my jars because for some reason I dont get a really good seal on my jars and after a few weeks they look weird in there. I started this practice with all my preserves. It doesnt hurt to water bath stuff and its not that big of a deal for me to do it. The canner just heats up while I am cooking the stuff.

Here is a link of how I make plain Rhubarb jam..so just add strawberries lol. http://simplyhomesteadingblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-i-make-rhubarb-jam.html

OHHHH and while your waiting for jam, you should totally make banana chocolate chip muffins..just banana bread recipe with chips added..check it out!

banana chocolate chip muffins

 

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Canning, Homesteading, Recipes | 2 Comments

Twists and Turns

Life has a lot of twists and turns in it. Usually I’m game and love the chaos of crazy heres and theres God tells me to go. Well not so much lately. Today my husband came home from work…at 8am. Ok..hm.. “Why are you home?” “I was pissed so I walked out.”  So after poking and prodding him to actually talk to me about what was bothering him, it turns out he was still steaming about the overtime cut. I know they told us about it last Monday, but my husband and I havent really had time to sit and talk about it. The week is very busy and he works late most nights..well right now. The weekend was filled with soccer games for end of the season tournament. So today when he came home we sat down, figured money, paychecks, deductions, bills, and made a game plan.  That game plan sucked by the way.

Turns out that if we keep paying my medical bills so they can disappear by the beginning of next year, then we have no money left over for food, or food for the dogs, or turkeys, or chickens. Good thing the lambs eat grass!!  So since we cant do much about his job situation and I refuse to make him work a second job just so I can sit and be a homesteader…It comes down to either I work a part time job to compensate or we will fail.  I hate “working.” I’m not above it, but I know I do not enjoy working for companies. What I do all day, people call work, but I love it.  This will in the long run, I hope, be a good thing my husband is on salary, it’s just at this time I cant see it. God’s plan is not my plan for sure this time. I am totally trusting that it is a good thing in the end and will hold on to that hope.

Prayers our way are always welcomed.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

God’s Surprise

Each year in my garden I find a variety of plants growing that shouldn’t be.  Normally this happens when I plant something and the previous years stuff comes up in the middle of it.  Each year I find a tomato here, cabbage there, chard everywhere. This year was no different. I decided to leave most of it, just more to eat lol. However this year I found something I did not plant.

See that among my strawberries??

dill

That my friend is DILL!! WooHoo score! Just to let you know..um..I know NO ONE with dill planted around me. Surprise!! I’m excited. I’ve tried two years to plant this stuff and none of it ever grew. This year I bought seeds but never got around to planting. I didn’t even try to plant anywhere near this area the last two years.  I don’t know where it came from, but it can live among my strawberries all it wants! The weeds however will be leaving shortly lol.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gardening | 3 Comments

Slap in the face

Yeah that’s what I feel my husbands company did to him. My husband has been with them 7 almost 8 years.  He works hard. He works long hours. He works off hours. He answer emergency calls that keep customers happy. When customers call they ask for my husband by name because no one else will do.  My husband works at least 52 hours every week..sometimes 60. He has asked for a raise because he, quite frankly, does work no one else does and no one is yet hired to do. He works the jobs of three people which is why he works so much. When he asked for the raise he was told no. In fact they said, “You work too many hours.”

You have to understand that my husband doesnt CHOOSE to work those amount of hours, he does because if he doesn’t the amount of work that needs to be done in order to keep the company in good standing with the public, to keep the company rep up wouldnt get done. My husbands hired in job most days he cant even do because he is too busy doing all the other things they need to hire someone to do, yet they expect him to get those jobs and the other one done in 40 hours.  So how do they reward a hard working guy?  One who puts his life on hold for the company?? One who does all the other crap that everyone else should do, but “never has time to”????  They give you a $20,000 pay cut!

Yeah..you read correctly. See my husband is paid hourly. By having to work so much overtime to get all the stuff done each week, he made “too much” money. I bet you honestly he was making close to what his boss was making. His boss wont stay late or answer calls at 2 am with a frantic customer who’s trailer quit running in the middle of drive to another state.  His boss wont drive to another town because a customer will only see him and this is an “important matter, given top priority” from his boss even though it’s a Saturday. His boss won’t fly to God knows where without any notice what so ever to his family because no one in that state can fix the trailer and this company knows how.  Slap in the freakin face.  Now you KNOW the company will expect my husband to do all he is doing and work 52-60 hours a week for $20,000 less….but if he does he can find himself a new wife!

Sorry but I had to vent..this is ridiculous! It’s not even about money at this point..we’ve survived on less pay per year and we will survive on this. Bye bye house plan ever..but whatever..it is what it is. It is about respecting the job my husband does. They didnt even come close to the amount of money he was making for the past 2-3 years.  If they would have come close..great, but this was more like “hey let’s cut this guy and make him salary so he HAS to work it for less.”  I thought the company was better than this honestly.  Guess I should have listened to my husbands 7 year itch to go somewhere different. I just thought that this would be a great place to retire from, but I was wrong. If they are going to treat him like this now, then it will be worse later. Time to move on…

Happy Homesteading, cause that’s all I got to keep my mind off of most of this…

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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