Monday, June 14, 2010

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

This picture does not show how yummy this pie is!! I will never claim to be a perfect pie maker, nor do I make my own crust, though my aunt tried to teach me! Since being married to Kyle I have found my love for pie and here is a recipe to help you use more of your buckets of fresh strawberries. This recipe is not my own, it is from The Better Homes & Gardens Cook Book, 12th Edition. If you know of someone getting married, or who needs a great cookbook that has everything--this is the book for them, a great gift from my Mom!
One box of Pillsbury or chilled pie crust (they come two to a box, so you can make two pies with a crumble topping or one double-crust pie).
2 cups of chopped fresh or frozen strawberries
2 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of finely shredded lemon peel or 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (I always use the cinnamon--yummy!)

Follow directions on box for bringing the dough to room temperature. Line a 9-inch pie plate with one of the pastry dough.
Combine sugar and flour. Stir in strawberries, rhubarb and cinnamon. Toss fruit until coated well. (If your fruit is frozen, let mixture stand for 45 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy).
Transfer fruit mixture to the pastry-lined pie plate. Trim bottom pastry to edge of pie plate.
Cover the fruit with second pastry, seal and cut slits in pastry for steam. Crimp edges if desired.
Use a pastry brush and cover top crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Cover edges of pie crust with foil. Bake at 375 degrees in oven for 25 minutes (or 50 minutes if fruit is frozen). Remove foil and bake an additional 25-30 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and pastry is golden. Cool on wire rack.

Enjoy your strawberry-rhubarb pie!! Yummo!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What to do with a bucket...or two...of strawberries

Summer is one of my favorite times of year...especially strawberry and raspberry season. Though the weather, depending on the Ohio day, can very steamy and muggy and sticky, I love going with my husband and my kids and pick raspberries and strawberries. Raspberries are more adventuresome, considering the ones we generally pick are I love the adventure and it reminds me of the time of year (usually around the 4th of July) when my husband and I got engaged and our anniversary (July 3rd). Well, anyway, I thought I might share what I have done with our strawberries we have picked this year. First of all, I am hoping to have a good crop of strawberries next year, as my little girl bought me 6 plants for Mother's Day (with the help of my awesome Mom-in-law). We have already enjoyed a few fruits this year, but next year there should be much more! I can't wait! For our strawberries, we generally go to Wengers Produce. The land they farm on is the land rented from Kyle's Granddad's land, so it is right down the road from their home. If you do not have a close produce stand in your county, check out a local farmer's markets, generally they are held on Saturday Mornings, and there are lots of fun items there. At our Logan County Farmer's Market, we currently have maple syrup, local honey, locally made cheese, pastries, flowers and strawberries. As the summer goes on there will be other veggies and fruits available!

My family and I went out a couple of weeks ago to pick a couple buckets of strawberries. Needless to say it was an adventure to go with a 3 year old and 4 month old, but we had fun and we will have those memories! The strawberries were juicy, a vibrant bright red and ready to be picked. We brought our strawberries home and made some yummy things with them!

One of the first things we made was Freezer Strawberry Jam! My husband loves peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches (I am just a peanut butter fan!) and he has those throughout the year for lunch, my daughter has started to love them too! Jam can be used for many fun recipes, which I am planning on sharing with you as well!! One of the best parts about doing the freezer jam is there is no cooking and no processing of the jars, so you can use any jar!! I save all my jars I use throughout the year, for example, olive, pickles, salsa, jelly jars, again any jar can be used since you do not have to have a seal!

Here is how to make yummy freezer jam:

First you need to buy Surejell Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin (this recipe can be found on the inside packet, as this is their freezer jam recipe). (I use the liquid, because with the powder, you have to boil water, and with two kids, I like the easier methods the best and again I am sticking with the no cooking method!!) There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, but there are also other types of Surejell you can buy that are Reduced Sugar, just look where they sell your Surejell, which can be found in the bakery aisle. For each recipe of jam, you will need one pouch of liquid pectin per recipe.
You will need 2 pints of strawberries, whole to start with. Out of the 2 pints you will need 2 cups of squashed strawberries (after squishing them with my hands the first time, I used my immersion blender--thanks to my hubby's idea!!)

You will need 4 cups of sugar (yes I said 4 cups of sugar!!)

Also, the recipe calls for 2 Tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. I forgot to buy lemons, so I used my refrigerated lemon juice, which worked perfectly.

First thing you do is get your strawberries to a good consistency and measure out 2 cups. You will add your 4 cups of sugar, mix well and let them set up for 10 minutes, stirring every couple minutes to make sure your sugar gets mixed in well.

Pour your Surejell Certo Premium Liquid Fruit Pectin into a small bowl and add the 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, mix well.

After the 10 minutes is up, add the Surejell and lemon juice to the mixture and stir for 3 minutes.

Then pour into clean jars with lids. You will have to set your jars on the counter for 24 hours to set before putting them into your freezer.

One batch of Strawberry Freezer Jam usually yields 2.5 regular pint jars (ball or mason), you may get more or less jars per batch if you are using other various sizes of jars.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The First Post

This week I turned 30--yes the Big 3-0! And considering my love for creative writing I thought what better way to celebrate my venture into the new decade marked with 3's than to venture into the world of blogging. However, I have been unsure of what to even write about or even how long my entries should be. I am not a big picture person, so looking at what this whole blog should be about is a hard one for me. Let me break it down: looking at the title, A Glantz in Time, our last name is Gantz, so a lot of what I am writing will be about my family, what it is like to be a Mama and wife, my two favorite things in the world and I am so thankful that God has given me this great gift. Another thought is to encourage anyone who reads what I am writing with God's Word and what I am learning from reading His Word.

This summer I am planning on writing about canning. It's a blessing to be given a garden full of vegetables and fruit to save for the winter. I have the opportunity to work with my Mom-in-law and my sister-in-law, almost every Friday of the end of the summer to save yummy produce to enjoy all winter. When I was a child, I would can greasy beans and freeze sweet corn with my grandparents. Every summer I think of them and the memories of spending a week in the summer in Tennessee with them as I am canning and freezing produce for my family. I am thankful that my grandparents taught me to have a garden and grow our own food, it's so much better than store-bought, and to save the fruits of your labor. I am so thankful that God has given us ground to work with and the blessing of His crops to give to our family. Kyle's grandparents let us use part of their garden to plant in. We get to help care for the garden and plant our own veggies.

I may not write everyday, but I am hoping once a week. We'll see how this new venture goes...til next time!