Easy Rhubarb Jam

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It kind of tastes like apple butter with a little bite. Sweet and tangy and pretty awesome. This recipe is extremely versatile, so feel free to add more strawberries to alter the taste or color or omit them altogether!

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This is a fabulous way to use up extra rhubarb after you’re tired of strawberry rhubarb pie (is that even possible?)!

Easy Rhubarb Jam

Adapted from Rhubarb Butter by Meghan Telpner

  • 4 stalks of rhubarb, cut into chunks
  • 1 apple, cored and chunked
  • A few strawberries, fresh or frozen-and-thawed (optional)
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup honey, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Puree rhubarb, apple, and strawberries in a Vitamix or food processor until smooth. You might not be able to get all the rhubarb strings pulverized, but as long as it’s the consistency of chunky applesauce or jam you’re good to go.
  2. Pour into a saucepan, add honey, vanilla, and cinnamon, and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Simmer 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it reaches desired consistency. 20160506_175658
  3. Pour into a jar and store in the refrigerator. You could also can this like other jams, but it should keep just fine for a few weeks in the refrigerator otherwise. Use it on bread or ice cream!
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Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

20160506_202507Old cookbooks are pretty much the best. I could read them for fun! My Mama has 1973 Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, and whenever I’m looking for a classic, tried-and-true recipe with real ingredients that’s where I turn.

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Since I had fresh rhubarb but no fresh strawberries (yet), I made this recipe with frozen strawberries from last summer and it turned out fabulously.

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Classic Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 pound rhubarb (or about 3 cups, chopped), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (if they’re frozen, set them out an hour or two ahead of time to thaw partially)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 9-inch pie crust with enough dough to make a lattice top
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine sugar, tapioca, salt, and nutmeg. Add rhubarb. 20160506_184940
  2. If you’re using frozen strawberries, let them thaw in a colander until they’re soft enough to slice. Slice them before they get too mushy, then drain for about 10 more minutes before adding to rhubarb mixture. If you’re using fresh strawberries, slice and add immediately.20160506_190245
  3. Mix to coat fruit, then let stand 20 minutes. 20160506_192824
  4. Prepare the crust, and pour in filling. Dot with butter and arrange a lattice top.20160506_19090620160506_19181020160506_192957_00120160506_193502
  5. Bake at 400° for 35-40 minutes, until juice is bubbling thickly. If the pie is very full, slide a cookie sheet in a lower rack in the oven to catch any overflow. And enjoy with your family! 20160506_20225420160506_202307

Dandelion Greens with Toasted Garlic and Almonds

Dandelion | Taraxacum officinale | Best known as a weed although it holds medicinal properties and value as (free) (nutritious) food. All parts (leaves, root, stem, and flower) can be eaten. The leaves contain lots of vitamins A and K, phosphorus, calcium, fiber, magnesium, iron, potassium, and flavonoids.

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Wild Garlic | Allium vineale | These taste and smell more like onions than garlic. The whole plant can be eaten, and  it can be found all over North America growing as a weed.

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This dish looks pretty fancy and it smells absolutely wonderful. But it’s basically free if you forage for the greens and wild garlic and use leftover bacon grease*! Now that’s my kind of cooking.

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Dandelion Greens With Toasted Garlic and Almonds

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch of dandelion greens
  • 4-6 wild garlic bulbs (or green onions) including 1-2 inches of the green stem if you’d like
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 T. bacon grease (or olive oil)
  • Small handful of toasted, sliced almonds
  • Pinch of salt

(You should check out that video – I made it) Start a medium pot of water boiling. Coarsely chop dandelion greens and add to boiling water. Stir occasionally until they turn bright green (30 seconds – 1 minute). Drain, rinse with cold water, drain again, and press with a towel to remove excess water. At this point your greens will look like they went through the washer and dryer – limp and shrunken. Never fear! They’ll look more appetizing once you get them in the skillet. But really, what does it matter if they taste amazing?

Heat your cooking fat in a medium skillet. Finely chop wild garlic and garlic. It’s not super garlicky, I promise. The wild garlic tastes more like onion than garlic. Cook in skillet until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally (30 seconds – 2 minutes). Add dandelion greens and stir for 30 seconds. Add almonds and salt and serve warm.

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*I only recommend saving and using bacon grease if your bacon is high quality. That is, if it doesn’t have antibiotics, steroids, or additives and preferably was pasture-raised. The reason for this is that pork fat is where toxins are stored, so if your pig was raised in a toxic environment you would be eating those toxins. If, however, your pig was raised correctly in a healthy environment… that bacon grease is a (amazing tasting, mind you) great source of animal fat for cooking and you don’t have to worry about toxins. So there is a real reason people shy away from bacon and the resulting fat – but it’s because of the quality of the bacon, not bacon in general. So get yourself some high quality bacon and enjoy it! (Good) Bacon is good for you!!