Monday, July 7, 2008

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam and the New Community Garden Neighbor

So, I have a new neighbor in the community garden. I am envious. Her collards look much better than mine and I started a week earlier than she did. She had this huge rhubarb plant in the front row and my husband and I commented several times to each other earlier in June that she really needed to cut those seed stalks comes up off soon. Well, last week I stopped to chat with her and comment about how lovely her collards looked compared to mine and she just so happened to mention that nasty rhubarb plant. I told her that we loved rhubarb and having been making bread and pies at home from the plant we have in our front yard. She told me that she didn't have a clue about how to use it and if I wanted it that is was all mine.

Long-story-short....Thursday, July 3....I took down those seed stalks, butchered her plant with precision and made Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam. YES...I gave her a 1/2 pint for her kindness, along with the recipe. I can't take credit for the recipe, but it is yummy and will taste like a burst of sunshine in the dead, cold, and dark winter of the interior.

Rhubarb-Strawberry Jam

Makes approx 9 – ½ pint jars

Recipe from “Cooking Alaskan, By Alaskans” . pg. 471

1 lb. rhubarb, sliced thin
1 ½ cups mashed strawberries (I used a food processor to chop)
6 ½ cups sugar
1 pouch liquid Certo pectin
¾ cup water

Simmer rhubarb in ¾ cup water until soft (about 10 minutes or less). Add to the rhubarb the strawberries and sugar. Bring to a full rolling boil and boil hard one minute (stir constantly). Take off the heat, add one pouch Certo and mix well. Pour into hot sterilized jars, adjust caps and process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Fattening Up 4 Winter!

OMG! I have been delving into old forgotton cookbooks since Lisa left and am beginning to bulge at the seams. Do you know I actually have a cookbook called "The Pinto Bean Queen Cookbook"...Yep...I inherited it from my grandmother Sadie when she passed away. It was created in Cortez, Colorado and actually has a pie recipe that touts itself to be the BEST mock Pecan Pie west of the Mississippi!

Aside from that...I came across a recipe that I loved from my days in Cloudcroft and from my good friend Jann Hunter. The recipe comes from her mother who I think is Dutch or German or comes from Wisconsin.......sorry if I am wrong. They call it Grandy "G" Bread and it makes, by far, the BEST dinner rolls I've ever had. You just can't help but slap some butter on one of those puppies when they come out of the oven. They simply scream to be eaten immediately! This recipe makes a whopping 26 buns so serve them up at your next party or holiday dinner!

Grandy “G” bread
1 24 oz. cottage cheese, 4% milkfat
½ cup honey
¼ cup butter
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. soda
½ cup water
3 to 3 ½ Cups Unbleached Flour
1 ½ cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 pkgs. dry yeast
2 eggs

Place first six ingredients in microwave bowl. Nuke until very warm but not enough to kill the yeast (3:33 minutes but microwaves vary.)
Measure into a mixer bowl:
1 Cups Unbleached Flour
2 pkgs. yeast (or 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp. on yeast)

Pour warm cottage cheese ingredients over flour/yeast.
Mix in: 2 eggs, beat with a flat or whisk beater for about 5 minutes. Change mixer blade to dough hook.
1 ½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached flour
Beat this for 7 to 9 minutes with the dough hook. (May need to add more unbleached flour (about ¼ cup).)

Pour dough onto pastry cloth (yes, I said "Pour" because that's kind of the consistency of it) which has been spread with about ¼ cup flour. Using the edges of the pastry cloth, knead in the flour on the cloth.)

Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Turn the dough into the bowl, cover and allow to rise until double or more. Punch down, Pour out dough (Yes, it's still pourable) onto that pastry cloth. Divide it in half. With a rolling pin covered with a stocking, roll out pockets of air to about ¾" thick.

Cut with about 3 1/2" round cutter (I use an old green beans can) Place on greased cookie sheet about ¼" apart. Cover and allow to rise again to double. Repeat with the other half of dough.

Now for the nice part. Bake buns at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Cool (if you can without eating them right then and there with loads of butter!).
These freeze well. Just wrap them in packages of 2 in plastic wrap, put them in Ziploc bags and freeze.