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I absolutely love to preserve foods! Do I love them mess? No, but it is so worth it in the dead of winter when the temperatures are below zero. I stayed home with our girls for a few years when they were little and I did a ton of canning during that season of life. I remember timing things out perfectly so that I could handle the blazing hot jars during nap time so that I didn't have to worry about them getting burnt.

My mom taught me how to can, as a first-year 4-H'er in 4th grade I took strawberry jam to the fair. 🙂 Ellie and I talked her into helping with almond peach jam and peaches this year. This was mainly because Ellie did not believe me that Grandma knew how to can and definitely didn't believe that she taught me everything I know. (While canning peaches that day my mom said she quit canning when she experienced a year when every jar didn't seal. She had gotten a bad batch of seals and even wrote the company about her frustration. It sounded like many people had the same experience that year. ) I can't imagine putting all of that hard work into your bounty to find that nothing sealed. I now realize why she threw in the towel. 🙂

I love making almond peach jam as it is a favorite with many of our family members and friends! It is adapted from the Sure-Jell recipe insert. I bought a lug of peaches from our local Mennonite store and then ended up buying another box at Fareway. It's very simple to make and is a great recipe to gather your kids to help with since there are lots of steps with the peeling, etc. I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as we do!

Almond Peach Jam

I absolutely love making this sweet jam. I tend to give it away to family and friends at Christmas! This recipe is adapted from the surejell box insert.
Servings 7 jelly jars

Equipment

  • Hot water canner
  • Jars, seals, rings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups Chopped Peaches
  • 1 box Sure-jell
  • 5 ½ cups Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Almond flavoring

Instructions
 

  • Use a pot of boiling water to blanch peaches. Blanching is dipping the peaches into the boiling water for about 30 seconds then transfer to cold water. This will make the peaches very easy to peel.
  • 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 well before filling.

  • Peel and pit peaches. Sprinkle with lemon juice while cutting to prevent browning. Finely chop fruit. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in box of sure jell. 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. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Add almond flavoring and stir.

  • Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

Jen's Strawberry Rhubarb Banana Cake

This is a delicious spring time recipe that I joke we could have named Everything But The Kitchen Sink cake. It is extremely moist and pairs well with a cup of coffee while sitting outside enjoying the springtime weather!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 18 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups brown sugar
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • cups all purpose-flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • cups chopped rhubarb
  • cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 ripe bananas

To drop on to top of cake batter

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Frosting/Glaze

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325*
  • Spray a 9X13 pan with cooking spray
  • Combine 1 cup of milk, vanilla, and lemon juice in a glass bowl and let sit for 10 minutes
  • Mix milk mixture, egg, bananas, oil, and 1 ½ brown sugar in a bowl
  • In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, and baking soda
  • Add strawberries to egg/oil mixture and stir
  • Fold dry ingredients in a little at a time
  • Add rhubarb
  • Pour mixture into sprayed cake pan
  • Combine melted butter and 1/2 cup brown sugar, drop spoonfuls onto the top of the cake batter in various locations.
  • Bake cake at 325* for 40 minutes or you can put a toothpick in center of cake and it comes out clean.
  • Remove cake from oven and let cake cool

Frosting/Glaze

  • Mix powder sugar and milk until it makes a thick glaze
  • Pour over cool cake
  • Cut and serve
Keyword banana, cake, rhubarb, springtime recipes, strawberry

Based on my other recipe, you know we love rhubarb and I love spring! What better way to celebrate spring than with another rhubarb recipe? My husband would probably say something about morels, but I say rhubarb!

I "invented" this recipe the other day and it didn't last long at all! I took some to my parents and some to my in-laws and we cleaned up the rest. Oops! No kidding, though, it is that delicious. The girls and I joked that I could have named it Everything But The Kitchen Sink Cake because we decided at the last minute to use some strawberries that were going bad in the fridge. I just cut off the "bad" parts and used the good parts. Another variation of this could be done with raspberries, too.

Go grab some rhubarb from your garden or grab some from the freezer and make this delicious springtime dessert!

From the gravel road,

Jen

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