January 2010

Happy New Year and I hope everyone had a great holiday season.

It's been quite hectic with trying to get the christmas decorations down, house back to normal and getting back to work as well after some time off.

One thing I definately did do over Christmas was make my own cranberry sauce with rhubarb. I do get lazy and use store-bought, but didn't do it this year. I didn't use any measurements, but I can generally guesstimate at what I did. Besides, I was in a big hurry!

I emptied an entire bag of frozen cranberries into a pot, and added a cup and a half of water. I then sprinkled 2 cups of white sugar over top and mixed well. Started it on a low-medium boil. I let that simmer for 20 minutes or so, and added in approximately 3 cups of frozen chopped rhubarb. I gave it a good stir again, and then added in some cinnamon, all-spice, and orange juice. The cinnamon and all-spice were what I would describe as "big pinches" and the orange juice equalled approximately a half cup.

I let this mixture simmer for an hour or so, and remembered to stir every so often. When I felt it was thick enough, I took it off the stove, and poured it into a mixing bowl to cool. The amount I got from all of this was 2 large plastic margarine containers full. One immediately went to the freezer, because I knew we wouldn't use even all of the first one, even though we ate turkey for three days.

I got compliments and it was very good. It worked well for just guessing at it. Basically, this recipe was simply made geared to taste. In my opinion, you don't have to worry about ruining it...you won't.

So, since we don't just eat turkey at Christmas time, and cranberry sauce is always a must, give it a try for turkey or chicken...very easy and quite delicious.

Santa did bring me a new bread-machine this year and this one makes jam. I've never used this feature before, so I look forward to trying this out. My mother is the jam-maker in my family, and she has always done enough for all of us. I wonder if she would might be interested in this recipe I found?

Rhubarb Beet Jam

8 cups chopped rhubarb

2 1/2 cups white sugar

9 cups peeled and chopped to a 1/2 inch beets

3 cups water

Combine the rhubarb plus 1 cup of sugar. Mix well; set aside 30 minutes.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a medium pot and set to medium heat.

Stir occasionally; cook 45 minutes until the beets are very soft.

Add in the sugar and rhubarb mixture that was set aside.

Cook an additional 20 minutes.

Process the mixture through a potato ricer, and return to the pot.

Note - A potato ricer is a kitchen tool used to force or process foods through holes like a garlic press would.

Add more sugar if you think necessary, and let simmer until you are sure all sugar is dissolved.

Ladle into sterile jars, and be sure to leave 1/4 inch of space at the top. Top with your lids, and let cool.

Makes 3 8-ounce jars.

This is a recipe provided by Chef Stefano Frigerio, and has been paired as a condiment with feta cheese and assorted nuts as a snack or appetizer.

The Invincible General?

Ever thought of your rhubarb in these terms? The ancient chinese did, according to ancient chinese medical documents.

“Rhubarb is a courageous and unstoppable general in the battlefield, who can pull down the enemy’s stronghold and completely destroy all the enemies. Furthermore, rhubarb makes a clean sweep of all obstacles wherever it goes."

This saying refers to the violent nature of rhubarb and it's effect on the metabolism of the body to "purge" itself.

This information came from Q.Tian Chen, who currently lives and works in Guangxi, China. He studies traditional chinese medicines, and has written alot on the subject.

If you would like to read more, give him a visit at

Chinese Medicine Gem for some very interesting reading.

Until next time,




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