Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Chocolate Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

This bit of yumminess is brought to you by a big mistake I made while cooking a humungous batch of strawberry rhubarb jam.  I forgot to put the pectin in with the fruit before putting in the (you really don't want to know how much) sugar.  So, I added lemon juice, grabbed a bunch of unsweetened chocolate, and went for it.  Oh, let me preface the actual recipe by assuring you it's fine to halve or quarter the recipe to make a smaller, more normal-sized batch.

3.5 lbs rhubarb plus 1 cup of water
5.5 lbs strawberries
10 lb bag of sugar, plus 6 cups (if you must know, it's about 28 cups)
1 cup lemon juice
8 oz unsweetened bakers chocolate

I used a 20 quart stock pot.  Cook the rhubarb (and water) until it's nice and tender.  Add the strawberries and mash to your liking.  Boil and add the sugar quickly.  Stir in the lemon juice and chocolate, then bring all of the above to a boil again.  Once the chocolate has melted completely, turn down the heat and simmer for 40 minutes.  This will give the mixture a jam-like consistency.  If you prefer a saucier consistency, I'd simmer for 20 minutes instead.  Once cooked, pour the mixture into jars and seal.  Always bathe in boiling water for 10 minutes if you're at sea level.

This will give you about 30 half-pint jars of sauce.  The reason I go for a thicker consistency is to allow myself the opportunity to spread it on a biscuit like jam.  It's much easier to make jam thinner than thicker once it's in a jar.  Heat it up and load it onto your hubby's ever-so-boring vanilla ice cream.  For yourself, of course.  Well, I guess the hubby could have some too.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Devil's Portal and Vacation in Virginia

Today I cooked a LOT.  I made a couple batches of bread & butter pickles, dill pickles, cherry pie jam (TO DIE FOR), blackberry jam, blueberry jam, and strawberry-rhubarb jam.  I also whipped up a quick facebook page for Farmer's Daughters Farm Stand in Waterboro, as Ed and Sarah do not yet use facebook, or, what they fondly call the devil's portal.  I think it's because between us, we know of more than one married couple who have broken up as the result of spouses reconnecting with old flames through said portal.  Scary!  Anyway, it was a busy day and a good one.  Normally I get caught up in some dramatic tv series to obsess over while jamming, but today I mostly reflected on our vacation in Virginia last week.  We visited with Joe's family for a few days and had a fun and easy time, just the way a vacation is supposed to be.

Did you know that Joe was a Rescue Swimmer in the Navy?  Do you think he learned this move in survival school?  We're definitely framing this one!

Would you believe that four families, including all of these children (our kids, 2-year old triplets, and our little 1-year old nephew), all vacationed together in the same home?  Thankfully Grandpa has a big house!

Oh, Charlie.  She gets such a kick out of herself!  We do too, of course.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cutting Onions and Looking Hip

Thanks to the Achorn Farm kids, I can now cut onions ALL day, which seems to be happening lately, as it is finally pickle season!  Seriously, I wore these ski goggles for the entire day on Friday.  Not only didn't I tear up at all, but it was a very good conversation starter.