Monday, May 21, 2012

Rhubarb Cinnamon Jam

We have been trying to experiment with new foods because I did not come from a home where there was a ton of variety. My parents were great and they fed us well but they both worked and so we had a lot of plain meals such as spagetti, hot dogs and french fries, or chicken with rice and a vegetable (generally corn). Since I am a stay at home mom I have a little more time to attempt a garden and cook more variety of food from scratch. I also enjoy being able to make some things from scratch because it is not only cheaper but we also avoid a lot of preservatives in the homemade version.

This past week I found a recipe on the blog One Hundred Dollars A Month for making Rhubarb Cinnamon Jam. Rhubarb seems to be in season here at the moment since it is at every store and the markets for a reasonable cost. Rhubarb is one of those foods that I did not have as a child so thought I would try this recipe. It turned out amazing! Even my middle boy who is super picky and wont eat much variety liked it. He said it smelled like apple pie while I was making it. I think he is right. The Man thought it was good too. I like these homemade jams because they can be different flavors than what you can buy in the store and they are cheaper for a bit of effort.

My cost breakdown goes something like this:
rhubarb - 2.30
water- free
pectin - 1.89
butter - .05?
sugar - 2.28
lemon juice - .10?
cinnamon - .05?
For a total of  $6.67 for 7.5 - 8 oz jars. Less than $1 per jar of homemade yummy jam that does not contain HFCS. This is worth my time to let my family have something that I prepared especially for them.

Please take a few minutes to look around the blog One Hundred Dollars A Month. Mavis has great ideas on how to eat healthy foods on a very slim budget. She has ideas I would have never thought of. I really enjoy visiting her blog.

The Recipe:
Rhubarb-Cinnamon Jam (adapted from Sure Jell recipe)

4-1/2 cups prepared fruit (about 2-1/2 lb. fully ripe rhubarb…about 5 lg stalks, 6 c chopped)
1 cup water
1 box SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin
1/2 tsp. butter or margarine
6-1/2 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
1 T lemon juice
1 t ground cinnamon
*red food coloring (optional…see note at bottom)(I did not use)

BRING boiling-water canner, half full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain jars well before filling.

CHOP rhubarb in medium dice. Place rhubarb and water in 4-qt. saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 2 min. or until rhubarb is tender. Measure exactly 4-1/2 cups prepared rhubarb into 6- or 8-qt. saucepot.

STIR pectin into prepared rhubarb in saucepot. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar & cinnamon. Return to full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.

LADLE immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 min. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

*Add a few drops of red food coloring after you remove jam from heat and skim off any foam with metal spoon.

makes 5 12 oz jars or 7.5 8 oz jars

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