Jammin’

A few weeks ago we went to pick strawberries.

It was Father’s Day, and it was a beautiful day.

The strawberries were so delicious we got carried away.  We picked so many, they were just that good.

So we got home with lots and lots of delicious berries.  We ate a whole bunch that day. And the next day.  In smoothies, fresh, and with yogurt. The rest, we are keeping for later. We froze some, and of course, we made jam.

We make our jams and cooking inside of course, in our kitchen.  but the canning part, we make it outside in this stove, to keep the kitchen a little cooler in those hot days.  This is the best tip I could give for making jam.  Use an outdoor stove outside.

We made strawberry jam.

And it is perfect that at this time of the year, we have rhubarb ready to be picked as well.

This rhubarb is a very special plant for us.  It is from Mark’s great-grandmother’s garden!  Many years ago, when his grandma moved to a different home, leaving her own garden behind, she gave us this plant her mother had in her own garden before her.

So, we brought it from sunny, hot Idaho to rainy, not-so-hot Portland.  And the plant has done very well, and we enjoy these beautiful stalks each year, for many years now.

Even more special it is for us each time, knowing where it came from.  From a family of gardeners, from long ago.  Remembering each time we harvest it and cook with it, from a woman I wish I had met and learn what she used this rhubarb for.  And a grandma we miss dearly but remember her with love for many reasons.  But she comes up very often at our house in conversations for all the cooking she taught Mark growing up.

And just look at these colors… I do love rhubarb.

So, we made strawberry-rhubarb jam too.  I found this recipe online, from Gardenopolis.

And we also made strawberry syrup.

I’ve never canned berry syrup, so this was the first time and I’m really enjoying at the idea.  I found this recipe.

Mmmm… I can almost picture us having pancakes with this syrup in the middle of the winter… I’m glad we canned it.

What are you jammin’?

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