Rhubarb Butter

IMG_0225I looooove rhubarb. I love it so much that I still have carefully portioned-out potential pies of chopped rhubarb from last year in my freezer since it was too special to actually use. And I’m feeling pretty silly about that as I look at this year’s first harvest. What should I do with this all? Who loves rhubarb as much as I?

My dad.

And when I harvested this Father’s Day was right around the corner. I took this picture to share with him then hit the Internet for ideas. He lives far away from me, and I wanted to find something that could ship. To my delight I discovered Rhubarb Butter!

We were still pretty busy with the move, and the weather was hot so we (Chris and I) adjusted the recipe a bit. Chris used a paper cutter (with the guard removed) to cut the stalks into 2-3-inch-pieces (saving my arthritic hands ‘cuz he’s awesome). Then we put them all into our crock pot on our porch and cooked and stirred for almost two days.

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I then sent the mixture through our Ninja then put it back on the stove for a final boil-down.

Years ago Chris figured out that if we put our canning jars in the dishwasher and used the drying cycle, they would easily seal once we added ingredients. Right before the dishwasher was done, I added sugar and cinnamon. That’s it.

 

Soooooo easy, and delicious! I had never thought to put cinnamon with my rhubarb before. This rhubarb butter (called butter for its texture) is fantastic on toast, over ice cream, and in my homemade yogurt.

If you have a plethora of rhubarb, I highly recommend this procedure.

PS. My dad loved it, too.

PPS. The horrid-looking crock pot cleaned really easily.

PPPS. I didn’t add food coloring so it doesn’t look the prettiest. But personally I prefer not adding those chemicals.

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Pancakes – Norwegian Style: It’s the Perfect Crepe

Honestly, I don’t know if they are Norwegian, Swedish, or just crepes, but as I was growing up, we called them Norwegian pancakes. They are a family favorite. Add cheese and microwave for a lunch if you have any leftovers (I have to make a triple batch if I want to have any chance of having leftovers).

  • 1.5 c. flour
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 c. milk
  • 2 Tbs. melted butter
Heat your pan (if electric, set it to around 325-350 degrees)
Break the eggs in a bowl and mix in some milk. Add the rest of the ingredients (except the butter) and mix really well (feel free to use a mixer). Melt the butter on your griddle (we use an electric frying pan) then drain the butter out and mix it in the batter.
Use a 1/4 c. measuring cup to put batter on the pan. When it starts to bubble, flip it. The pancakes should have a light brown pattern on them when ready. If they cook too fast, turn down the heat.

Sour Cream – Homemade

We use it all the time. It also works as a cream cheese, too. This was published on my Suite 101 site a while ago:

People around the world have discovered a thickened homemade yogurt that acts as the perfect replacement for sour cream. Make this sour cream substitute in less than 24 hours. It’s a healthy substitute for the real thing, and can be made with skim or whole milk.Ingredients for the Sour Cream and Cream Cheese Substitute

  • 16 cups of milk
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered milk to thicken the liquid
  • 1 cup culture (fresh yogurt from a store of part of the previous batch of homemade yogurt)

Cooking Accessories for the Substitute

  • Metal cooking pot
  • Candy Thermometer
  • Large crock pot with removable crock
  • Strainer
  • White, tight-knit fabric

Make a Homemade Yogurt Base

Pour the milk into the metal cooking pot and begin heating. Stir in the powdered milk and heat the liquid until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This helps kill off bad bacteria, and brings it to a point where the milk won’t curdle. Remove the liquid from the stove.

Plug in the shell of the crock pot and set the heat on “low.” Pour the hot milk from the metal cooking pot into the crock and set it aside to cool until it reaches 108-112 degrees Fahrenheit. Once it reaches this temperature, add the culture and thoroughly stir. Put the lid on the crock and slip it back into the heated crock shell. Unplug the crock pot and let sit for eight to 12 hours.

Make the Homemade Sour Cream Substitute

Line a strainer with the clean, white fabric. White paper towels or cheesecloth can be used as a substitute for the fabric, but they might disintegrate into the final product. Pour the yogurt into the fabric over a sink or bowl and let the fluid drain through the fabric.

The fluid coming out is called whey. Let the yogurt drain for many hours until the mixture is thickened to a desired state. Some people skim the liquid off the top to use as yogurt and keep the thick under-layer for a sour cream substitute. Store the sour cream substitute in a tightly sealed container.

Uses for Sour Cream Substitute

Use the sour cream substitute for dips and spreads just like store bought products. With the whey drained out, the substitute is better for diabetics than ordinary sour cream. It is a healthy sour cream substitute since the yogurt is is made from contains essential nutrients such as calcium, protein, vitamin B2, vitamin B12, magnesium and carbohydrates. The culture combined with the milk provides a ‘good’ bacteria that benefits an individual’s digestive tract.

Bread Machine Basic White Bread

Did you know that you can pick up bread machines really cheap at almost any thrift shop? They are also found in yard sales.

No matter what brand of bread machine I use, I always use this recipe for a two-pound loaf. ***Tip – Buy your yeast in bulk to make your bread cost-effective. Just go up to the bakery in your local grocery store and ask the bakers for some bulk yeast.

This recipe is from my Sunbeam Expressbake cookbook (tweaked by me):

2 Pound White Bread Loaf

  • 1 and 1/3 cups hot tap water
  • 4 tsp stick butter
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 c. regular flour
  • 4 tsp. dry milk
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. yeast
Put the butter in first then add the hot water. Add the rest in order the set to bake. All the kids I know prefer the lightest color crust, but choose to your own taste.