Urban Preserving: Small Batch Vanilla Rhubarb Jam

chopped rhubarb

I’ve been keeping this blog long enough that I’m starting to repeat myself. This rhubarb jam, for instances, is nothing more than a simplified, scaled down version of the one I posted in the first year I was writing here (there’s also a very similar recipe in my first cookbook).

sugared rhubarb

The honest truth of it is that I can as much for myself as I do to create content for this site, and I very much love this easy little preserve. And so I make it every year or two, each time tweaked slightly. I thought you’d like to see how I do it when I’m only making a little bit.

vanilla rhubarb jam

You could also use this recipe as a starting place for a strawberry rhubarb jam. Either swap in berries for half the rhubarb, or double it (I know that I typically discourage people from doubling small batch recipes, but because this one has a touch of pectin, it scales up nicely).

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CSA Cooking: Turkey Meatloaf and Quick Pickled Chard Stems

finished meatloaf

One of the items in my Philly Foodworks box a couple of weeks ago was a big bundle of chard. Chard is a fairly regular player in my kitchen and most of the time when I’m possession of a bunch, I work it into a pot of soup or turkey chili.

However, with the weather warming up, I didn’t feel moved to make soup or chili. And when I try to serve my husband a side dish of garlicky sauteed greens, he balks. So I split apart the stems and leaves and used them separately.

I cut the leaves into ribbons, sauteed them with a chopped leek and stirred that delicious mess into a batch of turkey meatloaf (that is the recipe at the bottom of this post). I know that meatloaf is singularly unsexy, but it’s one of my favorite week night dinners. I love that it can contain a world of vegetables, is easy to throw together, and makes the very best leftovers (meatloaf sandwiches are my jam).

swiss chard quick pickles

The leaves taken care of, I chopped the stems into small bits and funneled them into a pint jar. Then, I combined 1 cup of rice wine vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a glass measuring cup and microwaved it until the salt and honey dissolved. I poured the warm brine into the jar, put a lid on, let it cool until room temperature and popped the jar into the fridge.

The meatloaf was good, but those pickles are the true winner here. They remain intensely crunchy and have just the right amount of pucker. I’ve been eating them spooned onto salads for the last week and am nearly down to the end of the jar. As soon as another bundle of chard appears in my life, I plan on making another batch.

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Small Batch Strawberry Balsamic Jam

strawberry balsamic jam

Tonight’s live online class was terrific. A small group of diehard canners showed up and interacted with me as I made a small batch of strawberry balsamic jam in my tiny kitchen.

The recipe I made is a slightly lower sugar riff on this strawberry vanilla version. The balsamic and a pinch of freshly ground black pepper give it depth and just a little edge that goes really well with cheese or as a glaze for meat.

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Giveaway: OmniMount iPad Case and Adjustable Stand

omnimount box

For the last couple years, my husband and I have had an iPad that lived in our kitchen. It was a first generation device and it had a number of our favorite recipes bookmarked for easy access. However, one day I had it wedged between a bottle of olive oil and a jar of mustard when I knocked into the counter hard enough to upset my make-do stand and it fell to the floor. No more kitchen iPad.

vertical omnimount

Since then, I’ve been bringing my real iPad into the kitchen with me when I needed to access online recipes. I’ve been incredibly careful to ensure that it doesn’t meet the same fate as that other much-missed tablet, but I’m always a little nervous that something is going to happen to it.

omnimount stand

Knowing all this, you’re sure to understand that when a rep from OmniMount got in touch, asking if I might like to try out one of their iPad mounts, I said yes. What’s so cool about theses products is that they can either be freestanding holders or you can mount them to a wall or underneath a cabinet.

back of omnimount

I’ve been using the OmniMount as a stand for my iPad Air for at least six weeks and I love it. It keeps the iPad securely at an accessible and readable angle, while ensuring that it stays out of the puddle of water that collects next to the sink.

We were going to mount it on the wall next to the primary work surface in our kitchen, but we’ve been doing some tentative house hunting and so decided that it was best to hold off on installation until we have a better idea as to how life will unfold.

iPad on omnimount

Here’s the fun part for you guys. I have two of these OmniMounts to give away. One holds an iPad Air and the other holds an iPad Mini. So, here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me about your kitchen technology habits. Do you use an iPad or other tablet while cooking? Do you stick with your phone? Or do you print recipes you find online?
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Saturday, May 24, 2015. Winners will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog soon thereafter.
  3. Giveaway open to United States and Canadian residents. Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: OmniMount sent me one of their iPad mounts for photography and review purposes. They are also providing the units for this giveaway. All opinions remain entirely my own. 

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Live Online Canning Class on May 19 at 7 pm!

Making honey sweetened strawberry jam at Farmers@Firehouse.

A reminder that my my first-ever live online class is t0morrow! Join me at 7 pm eastern time as I make a small batch of strawberry balsamic jam. We’ll talk about canning safety, boiling water baths, and how to safely make a recipe your own. I will also be answering questions, so come prepared with your queries.

The class costs $20 and is being hosting by a service called Concert Window. If you want to participate, create an account on the site now and follow the event. I’ll start broadcasting promptly at 7 pm! Please let me know if you have any questions!

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Links: Ramps, Water-saving Canning, and Winners

birthday cupcake

I did two big things last week. The first was that I co-hosted five canning videos with Nicki Sizemore for the Taste of Home Online Cooking School (I was initially super nervous but it ended up going incredibly well). The second was that I turned 36, which after the fanfare of 35 felt like a singularly anti-climactic birthday. Now I’m back to work and doing my best to make good things to share with you guys. Now, links!

Cup Coozie set

I’ve got winners to announce in both the Cuppow giveaway from last week and the Orchard Road one from the week before! First, the winners in the Cuppow giveaway are: #30/Paula, #33/Carol, #164/Brittany Williamson, #195/Terri, and #207/Christi Michaels.

The winners of the Orchard Road giveaway are: #12/Kelly E., #287/Millie, and #289/Rachael.

Thanks to all who took the time to enter!

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