With the dawning of the pandemic there has been many new “firsts” for us. Like online underwear shopping, because underwear is considered non essential retail, yes you read that correctly – NON essential. Those health board people might be risqué, it is not yet spring here in the great white North- we still have risk of snow flakes! But with stay at home orders I guess their thought process is why bother?
Yup, this is the world we live in. I guess in a strange way, it is reminiscent of the turn of the 20th century-. I mean, big department stores offered mail in orders via catalogue shopping and your order would arrive on the next train. Women & men always did shopping like that back then, and they survived didn’t they?. And if they didn’t shop mail order – they made do. Funny, how privileged we have become as soon as something becomes the everyday.
I think that is why I like canning, it takes you back to basics. Makes you appreciate what is actually in that jar. Not take it for granted -as just some jam – from the store shelf. You worked for it. Sure you earned the money to by that pre packaged stuff. It with canning – You cleaned, cooked, Jarred and sealed those jars with your two hands. It is an accomplishment.
Another first this year is harvesting our own Rhubarb. (Well, not exactly a first – but our previous patch was stolen in the middle of the night by rhubarb thieves 3 years ago- they literally dug it out and left a huge hole- who knew rhubarb was such a hot commodity) This year our new patch is coming in nicely. With a stock of frozen wild blueberries safely in our freezer a batch of Rhubarb blueberry Jam is calling.
Like most jams, this does contain some sugar, that is because without the rhubarb would make this tart or bitter. This recipe originally found on Pomona website – uses Calcium water & Pomona’s pectin – Pomona’s is avail online and some grocers or bulk retailers.
- 1 pound blueberries
- 1 pound trimmed rhubarb stalks
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup lemon juice-bottled
- 2 teaspoons calcium water see step #1
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 2½ teaspoons Pomona’s Pectin
- Before you begin, prepare calcium water. To do this, combine ½ teaspoon calcium powder (in the small packet in your box of Pomona’s pectin) with ½ cup water in a small, clear jar with a lid. Shake well.Extra calcium water should be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
- Wash your jars, lids, and bands. Place jars in canner, fill canner 2/3 full with water, bring canner to a rolling boil, and boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize them. (Add 1 extra minute of sterilizing time for every 1000 feet above sea level.) Reduce heat and allow jars to remain in hot canner water until ready to use. Place lids in water in a small sauce pan, heat to a low simmer, and hold until ready to use.
- Rinse blueberries, remove stems, and mash in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Rinse rhubarb, slice stalks lengthwise into thin strips, and then dice. Combine diced rhubarb in a saucepan with the ½ cup (of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and then simmer, covered, for 5 minutes, or until rhubarb is soft, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and mash rhubarb.
- Measure out 2 cups of the mashed blueberries and 2 cups of the mashed rhubarb (saving any extra for another use), and combine the measured quantities in a saucepan. Add lemon juice and the calcium water, and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine sugar and pectin powder. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
- Bring fruit mixture to a full boil over high heat. Slowly add pectin sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Continue to stir vigorously for 1 to 2 minutes to dissolve pectin while the jam comes back up to a boil. Once the jam returns to a full boil, remove it from the heat.
- Can Your Jam: Remove jars from canner and ladle jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. Remove trapped air bubbles, wipe rims with a damp cloth, put on lids and screw bands, and tighten to fingertip tight. Lower filled jars into canner, ensuring jars are not touching each other and are covered with at least 1 to 2 inches of water. Place lid on canner, return to a rolling boil, and process for 10 minutes. (Add 1 extra minute of processing time for every 1000 feet above sea level). Turn off heat and allow canner to sit untouched for 5 minutes, then remove jars and allow to cool undisturbed for 12 to 24 hours. Confirm that jars have sealed, then store properly.