My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

My ministry of cooking, canning, growing, and sharing!

Three years ago we bought a small farm with ten acres. The property had a mucky creek on the South side that was covered in raspberry brambles and poison ivy. The back six acres were so overgrown that I couldn't make it half way through the first pasture. There was mud, 10 foot tall weeds, about ten million ground hogs, and a house with "fabulous" 80's wall paper on EVERY surface. I looked at this property and my mind was spinning with possibilities of what I could grow, raise, and even forage off this little plot of land. My husbands mind, who was standing in nearly the exact same spot, was spinning with the thought of how much work he had ahead of him.

From my Farm to my Kitchen is a way for me to share my stories, recipes, failures, and successes. It is a way for me to tell you how sharing with others has opened the flood gates for abundant blessings, new friendships, and great lessons.

We have fought to "take back" parts of our property that had been swallowed by willows and scrub trees. My husband has suffered the wrath of the evil wood emperor, Sir Poison Ivy and our five children have worked tirelessly to help with chores like, "go get Mommy some basil" or I KNOW there's a Morel out there, GO FIND IT!

Please enjoy this glorious adventure with our family. Learn the lessons that I stumbled over, take the great recipes that I share and leave the miserable ones. I am hoping to write each day but you never know if the kitchen or the laundry monster will get me!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I love seeing the first flowers opening in spring.  It is a sure sign that I will be able to start my jam making.  I'm not talking about the standard strawberry or blackberry preserves.  I'm talking about really getting creative and capturing the true essence of spring and summer.  You can pick up the standard jams just about anywhere and just about all year long.  I want something truly "Special".  

This year I made dandelion jam.  Every jar I open is a reminder of the first honey flow for our bees.  It has the color of an early spring sunrise and smells delightful.  One of the most overlooked fruit for jamming is the crab apple.  Everyone I share a jar with is thrilled with the slightly tart, pink jam.  I can't make enough of it and the trees are nearly everywhere. For you gardeners who never know what to do with all those extra peppers, there is Jalapeno Jam.  It is beautifully green and refreshing especially around Christmas time.

The yard provides me with inspiration all season.  There are Queen Anne's lace, Rose hips, Elderberries, Mulberries, Lavender, Wood Sorrel, Violets, Wild Mint, Choke cherries, Pawpaw, Sumac, and so much more.  You can mix berries with flowers or vanilla.  You can even make a tea with herbs and add pectin.  I've made the most wonderful Lemon balm and honey jam last year.  The combination's are limitless.

If you love jam then take the first steps and let the artist inside you come out.  Buy a box of pectin and walk out the back door.  If it's green out there then there is sure to be something you can use. 

Here are a few of my favorite jam recipes.

Jalapeno Pepper Jam
3 large green bell peppers, seeded, diced
5-7 jalapeno peppers, seeded, diced
1/3 cup water
5 lbs. sugar
3 cups cider vinegar
2 pkg of pectin
few drops green food coloring (optional)

5 lb. crabapples
5 c. water
9 c. sugar
1 pkg. powdered pectin
Wash crabapples; stem and cut in half. Put in saucepan with water; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain through jelly bag. Measure 7 cups strained juice into large kettle. Add powdered pectin to juice; bring to a boil over high heat. At once stir in all of the sugar.Bring back to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil at a full rolling boil, that cannot be stirred down, 1 full minute. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon. Fill hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/8 inch at the top. Screw covers on tightly and put in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Rhubarb Jam

5-7 lbs. fresh rhubarb stalks
11-12 cups sugar
1 inch knob fresh ginger, crushed (optional)
Wash and remove leaves from rhubarb. Cut stalks into 2-3 inch pieces.Do not peel ginger, but crush it with a heavy weight, then wrap in a piece of cheesecloth.
Place the rhubarb in a large, clean stoneware jar or bowl. Cover with the sugar and place the knob of ginger on top.
Allow to sit for 3-4 hours.
Place the jar in a wide pan filled with water halfway, and boil the water in the pan from 30-90 minutes, or until rhubarb is tender. The younger the rhubarb, the less time will be required. Stir often. Do not add water.
Remove ginger. Ladle the jam into clean, sterilized 1/2 pint jelly canning jars to within 1/4 inch of rim. Wipe rim with a damp paper towel. Adjust caps. Process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.


1 comment:

  1. You are awesome Mickie! Everyone in Bend, OR loves your honey, and your Wordhouse WOW spices! They all received a jar last night at the Free Market graduation. Keep doing what you're doing! Love Mom Wordhouse