Monthly Archives: May 2011

Rhubarb baby!

There are a few things in life that make me sigh in exasperation whenever I think about them:

1) Doing dishes.

2)Paying for gas. (Talk about ouch on the wallet!)

2) My car.

You see, my car is old. It is stubborn. It’s rusty.  It has a mind of it’s own. The radio turns off suddenly. It’s squeaky when it’s damp. It eats a lot of gas.  And let’s just say my car is no stranger at the mechanics. Sometimes even my mechanic cringes when he sees me pull in.

The other day, I was trying to run some errands. I had grabbed some stuff from the house and put it in my back seat, only to find after a loud thud, that my door was refusing to shut. After a frantic call to my mechanic, he was able to fix my door no problem (apparently door latches need to be greased). Since this happens more frequently than I would like, I like to sometimes give him a little token of my appreciation in the form of jam.

I forget how he first tasted some of this jam, but now every year when the rhubarb is in season, I make up a huge batch, send some his way, and make sure some is frozen for Mr. Ginge to take with him when they go camping up north in the fall. This year he put in a request for two containers, just to make sure there is enough to last!

Remember that rhubarb I bought at the farmer’s market? Oh yea. This is totally how it ended up. The recipe is dead simple and freezes beautifully. It’s also really good spooned straight out of the pot onto some vanilla ice cream. Another bonus is it doesn’t use fussy pectin! Yay!

Strawberry Rhubarb Freezer Jam

  • 5 cups rhubarb, diced
  • 1 sm can of crushed pineapple, drained well
  • about 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 pkg strawberry flavored gelatin
  1. In a big bowl, combine your rhubarb, pineapple, strawberries and sugar
  2. Give it a stir to even distribute the sugar and let it set for a few hours. You want the rhubarb and the strawberries to get all juicy.
  3. Pour the fruit into a large pot and, bring to a boil.
  4. Boil for 20-25 minutes, or until the rhubarb gets all stewy and you can crush it easy with a wooden spoon.
  5. Add your package of gelatin, and cook for another 5 minutes or so until it is dissolved.
  6. Remove your jam from the heat, pour into containers and let cool completely before freezing or refrigerating. Or spoon it right from the pot onto some vanilla ice cream.

See how easy that was? Nothing beats homemade jam.

Happy jamming!

-Mel

Categories: Jams and Jellies | Tags: , | Leave a comment

On the Quest for the Recipe….

Sometimes I get creative. Throw some ingredients in a bowl and see how they turn out. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes not.

Sometimes Mr. Ginge, or my parents ( I bake for them most often) are craving something I have never heard of, let alone know ho to make. Like Queen Elizabeth cake, or Gran’s Chocolate Fudge icing.

Or these:

Marzipan bars.

So here is the story behind these.

I had asked Dad to start thinking about what kind of treat he would like for Father’s Day.  Last year he chose eclairs. The year before that was Banana Cake. While he chose Trifle for this year, these treats came up.  Apparently, both my Gran and Grandma used to make them.  Fortunately for me, they described them pretty well, and I was able to find a reasonably close recipe here.

Pastry bottom, jam & almondy cake, all topped with icing. Very sweet, but yum.

I won’t lie. It was late, so I cheated and used a store bought crust. I also put 1/2 a tsp of almond extract into the cake layer, just for an extra bit of almond kick.

Apparently they turned out well (they disappeared quickly!), but I already have a few tweaks in mind to make them better!

Enjoy!

-Mel

Categories: Bars | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Aren’t they purdy?

The crab apple trees outside my parents place are in bloom!

Soon it will start to snow all these lovely pink petals :D

Aren’t these gorgeous too?!

Mom and I were absolutely mesmerized by the wonderful deep purple of the blooms!

These flowers made my day!

-Mel

P.S. I do have recipes coming. I promise!

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | Leave a comment

A Visit to the Farmers Market…

So, I have a confession.

I’m a bit behind on my posts. But I am guessing, that you are plainly aware.

In my defense, my week has been a hectic one.  The past couple weeks, I have been getting more hours at work. Now this is definitely not a bad thing, it just makes for a busier schedule. And then yesterday, I was literally gone for the entire day, running errands with Mr. Ginge. And while this is not a complaint, it just makes for slow movement on things like baking, and writing blog posts (oops…..).

I did, however, make it to the Farmers Market yesterday! Yay!

It just opened for the 2011 season last week, and well, I have been anxiously awaiting for it to open since it closed for the season in October.  Now I’m just waiting for the little farm stand that is on my way home to open!

My love for our little market, is because of Mr Ginge. He loved the market long before I did, and often tried to take me, but since I never wanted to get out of bed that early, went alone. I mean, I knew it was there, it has been for over 150 years, but never really had the drive to go, meaning I didn’t want to get out of bed that early to go look at a bunch of vegetables. But you see, Mr Ginge does not tend to give up that easily, so he changed tactics. He started to bring the market to me. One summer, he brought home some empire biscuits, which was amazing, because my family has been making them for years (both my grandmothers made them) but had never seen them anywhere else before.  Another time he brought home some sweet yellow plums,and fresh honey comb.  Another day, he dragged me out of bed to take me to this one stand that was selling, fresh wild blueberries. Eventually I was hooked.

And while the super fresh, local producers, farm-to-table aspect of the market is nice, I love going simply because of what I can find.  Because, honestly, in our little town,   you just don’t find wild blueberries or honey comb at the grocers. And you certainly won’t buy it from as nice of people.

Now it is still only May. In Ontario. So frankly, as far as produce goes, there isn’t a whole lot available yet.  However I did not let that deter me. Here is what I came home with this time:

Catnip! For my brother’s cat. :D Completely random too. I bought the little plant from a woman ( I don’t remember her from last year) who was selling seedlings for all sorts of lettuce, and (mostly) herbs, but she had one little flat of catnip. Titan loves catnip. I’ve heard it grows like a weed, so I am hoping it will do well once I transfer it to a larger planter.

Rhubarb! My Dad brought some home from work for my mom, so I was hoping I would find it this week! I have not seen it in the grocery stores yet ( or actually, I think I see it, and it turns out to be swiss chard….) I’m planning on making some Strawberry-Rhubarb jam with it, so hopefully I will get that recipe up to share. Super nice people at the stall too. Generally they sell preserves ( Mr. Ginge loves their icicle pickles), but occasionally they have some produce there too!

Apple Fritter! This sort of became a kind of farmers market tradition, where we buy at least one every time we go. The local bakery in town makes them. As you can tell, it was  half eaten before  I could take a picture of it.Yum-ay.

We bought some cheese curds too…. but somehow they disappeared.

-Mel

Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | 1 Comment

A Little Chocolate Never Hurt…..

So this past week has been an eventful one for me.  :)

Work on Tuesday brought a smile to make face and for the whole week. Thursday, before the Easter long weekend, I had brought some of my chocolate chip cupcakes in. A co-worker brought the left over home for her daughter. Since there would have been too many treats for just her daughter, she shared them with her daycare. She then told me that they were all amazed by the mini cupcakes and loved them. It brought a smile to my day, and reminded me why I love to bake. :)

This past week also brought the Royal Wedding. Sadly, I did not get up a 4am to watch the nuptials. I did, however, Google her dress and the cakes when I got home. :) Personal favorite was the chocolate biscuit grooms cake. It was a fun idea, and it was gorgeous. It did look like a beautiful wedding from the pictures I browsed through. ( Oh what 34 million can do!)

In more personal events, today one of my good friends is moving 7 hours north for a job with one of the gold mines. It’s bittersweet, because I’m happy for her ( she just finished her degree!), and yet sad because she is sooo far away. Despite this, I wished her the best of luck there, and promised that the girls would trek it up there at least once in her 2 year contract.

An adventure like that would require lots of fuel, both for the car and the driver. And what fuels a bunch of 20 something females ( or at least this bunch of females…)? Chocolate.

While these treats would be great for a long road trip like that, I actually whipped these up for Mr. Ginge, who also loves a chocolate treat. Particularly when they come in the form of crispy treats! If you are not a fan of white chocolate, these would be equally as good with dark or milk chocolate pieces too.

Triple Chocolate Crispy Rice Treats

makes a 9×13 pan

  • 6 c cocoa crispy rice cereal
  • 1 c white chocolate pieces
  • 1 bag marshmallows
  • 1/4 c butter
  • Chocolate drizzle
  1. Mix the cereal and the white chocolate in a big bowl.
  2. In a sauce pan, or in the microwave, melt the butter and the marshmallows together.
  3. While the marshmallows are still hot, pour them over the cereal and mix until you have no dry cereal left.
  4. Press into a lightly greased 9×13 pan ( Don’t forget to grease! You will thank me later)
  5. Drizzle with the chocolate drizzle and pop them in the fridge to firm up
  6. Once set, take them out and cut in to squares.

Chocolate drizzle

Start by warming up a few table spoons of heavy cream, either in a sauce pan or in the microwave, just to the point of boiling.  Remove from heat ( or the microwave) and stir in some chocolate chips, a little at a time, melting them in the hot cream until you get a slightly thick and smooth consistency. The general guide line is equal parts cream to chocolate, but I get better results is I slowly work the chocolate into the cream.

Enjoy!

-Mel

Categories: Bars, Dessert | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. The Adventure Journal Theme.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 406 other followers