Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Canning Rhubarb, and more planting

I'm trying a new theory. Instead of eating within the seasons, how about preserving each season so I can have it all year long. Case in point: last year I made the heck out of rhubarb muffins for a couple months. I've been craving them for about 10 months now. I like to can as much as possible to save freezer space for meat so I thought I'd try canning rhubarb. It was the easiest canning experience ever!!

I had a bag of rhubarb that must have weighed 10 pounds. I could have run it through the food processor like I sometimes do but cut it up by hand instead. It is easier to work with and looks nicer. Plus, I didn't feel good and sitting in front of the TV with the cutting board for 2 hours made me feel like I accomplished something. Anyway, I chopped it in small 1/2-1 inch pieces.

Add 2-4 cups of sugar to each 16 cups of rhubarb. I used only 2 cups because I prefer a very light syrup. Toss together in a big bowl and let sit for at least a few hours. The natural juices will seep out and create it's own syrup.

After setting for awhile it is time to get the canner going and jars ready. Then heat the rhubarb and the juice in a pan until boiling. Boil for 30-60 seconds. Transfer to jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe the rim and seal. Process for 15 minutes.

The Ball canning book says that each 16 cup batch will produce 8 pints. I had about 40 cups but only ended up with 13 pints, not the 20 I expected. The rhubarb must have cooked down quite a bit. There was not a lot of syrup but all the jars sealed and I expect them to store well. I already opened 1 jar to make muffins and I was very happy with the product. I'll share the rhubarb muffin recipe as soon as I find the one I used last year.

In other news, I planted out some more seedlings tonight. 35 Waltham 29 broccoli and 17 more Amish Paste tomatoes, bring the total AP tomatoes up to 25 surviving.

Tomorrow is my early day at work so off to bed I go. Enjoy! :)


Abutton said...

Did you process these in a pressure canner or just a boiling water bath?

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for rhubarb plants...any suggestions on where to find?

Farmer's Daughter said...

Is it still crunchy or is it mushy?

Joyce said...

Mmm, I love rhubarb! Now I need to go make a pie!

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

Bookmarked - I'll have to buy some from the Farmer's market. After my little run of canning last weekend, I'm really wanting to can more stuff. Perfect timing! Oh, and that bowl ~ is HUGE!!! WOW!!

Jena said...

Abutton - a boiling water bath is all that is required. I brought it up to boiling and put the jars in for 15 minutes. Pretty easy! :)

Julie - I would prefer to get mine from a friend's patch using the dig and divide method discussed at http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/rhubarb-propagation.html. At the top of that page there is a link listing several sources to buy rhubarb as well. I tried direct seeding into my garden this year with no luck, I guess seeds should be started indoors. A lot of people around here are giving the stuff away this time of year.

FD - The jar that I used right away was still somewhat crunchy. I would expect some mushiness after storing for awhile. However, baking the muffins always makes the rhubarb mushy so this is no different for my purposes.

Joyce - Lol. My husband doesn't like strawberry rhubarb pie, can you believe that!?

Melissa - I know how you feel. If I start now, maybe I'll be able to keep up with all the canning to come. I doubt that really but I'm getting warmed up anyway. Yes, that bowl is one of my favorite things, we found a whole set of them when we moved in!

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

I don't know how I missed this one but that looks fantastic! I haven't had rhubarb since I was a kid and my grandpa grew it. Can you believe that? I always chewed on a raw one. :) LOL

Jena said...

Jennifer - I picked more rhubarb today to can tomorrow. I've got to get that muffin recipe figured out so I can share it. Hmm, I only tried a little raw piece today and it was nice and fruity but pretty sour. I was loving the asparagus raw until it started to take on an oniony taste late in the season.