Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

It’s a little late in the season to be sharing rhubarb recipes, but my patch is still producing, fighting for space next to the English peas and the garlic that keeps getting taller.

Besides, I’ve been talking about making this jelly for far too long, ever since a friend brought a case to exchange at my very first ever jam swap. It was a clear favourite of both Danny’s and mine, and we hoarded our jars for as long as possible.

You’d think that after six years I’d develop my own recipe for the rhubarb vanilla jelly, but here’s the honest truth: jelly scared me. Homemade jelly is a whole ‘nother ball of wax from making jam. Jelly either sets or it doesn’t (becoming syrup). It’s cloudy or it’s clear. It either works – or it doesn’t.

Today I’m sharing a homemade jelly recipe that most definitely worked for me. It’s not actually that scary after all.

[Read more…]

Home Canning in the Winter Months: A Round-Up

Just because many of the farmers markets have closed down, and the roadside produce stands are boarded up for the winter, doesn’t mean we have to pack away our canning jars and declare the season over. There are still plenty of fun preserving projects to be relished (groaner!) during the darker months of the year.

In some ways, canning from November to May is more enjoyable than during the hectic summer months. The pressure in August to put up the season’s bounty before it spoils can take the fun out of it. In winter you can choose your recipes with leisure without fear of fruit over-ripening – plus the temptation for a nap in the sun or a trip to the beach is no longer a distraction!

Right now, fresh Canadian cranberries are in stores and I’m getting ready to simmer up a few batches of cranberry sauce. Perhaps after that I’ll plan an apple project, because we go through apple butter like, well, butter.

[Read more…]