Monday, June 13, 2011

Homemade Rhubarb Juice ~ Recipe

Rhubarb Juice

We are still swimming in rhubarb around here as our plants just keep giving and giving :) So I thought that I would share again with you my favorite way to make a rhubarb juice which is such a wonderful summertime treat :)

Rhubarb Stalks

The kids and I filled an entire laundry basket heaping to the top with fresh rhubarb stalks to bring into the house for stewing and of course once it is cut it's best to use it up right away so I got busy washing them up and trimming off any dirty spots.

Rhubarb Juice

This is so super easy to make and even if you only have a little bit of rhubarb you probably have enough to make at least one special batch :)

Cut up 6 cups of fresh rhubarb stalks into 1 - 2 inch pieces and place in a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Add 8 cups of water, 2 1/2 cups of sugar and 2 or 3 nice thick slices of lemon and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes when the rhubarb has completely gone mushy.

New Juice Bottles

Let the syrup cool and then strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a jar. You will have a gorgeous pink liquid and you can eat the boiled rhubarb to! The stewed rhubarb is so sweet and tasty that the children love to eat it warm straight from the sieve :) Usually there isn't a stitch of mushy rhubarb left when we're done but since I made so much this year I shared it with the dog and the cow *grin*.

Rhubarb Juice

I got some great new jars this spring to that I couldn't wait to use and this seemed to be the perfect time. They have rubber stoppers that you clamp down tightly and we've filled them quite a few times with rhubarb syrup to take along camping with us or for a picnic by the pond.

The rest of the juice I canned in my mason canning jars and some of it I froze as well. If you want to can the rhubarb juice all you need to do is wash up some of your larger canning jars and pour the boiling hot juice straight from the pot after you've strained it into your jars and then screw on your lids with your canning seals heated up just like if you were making jam :) So far I have about a dozen quart jars to last us through the winter and 7 wine bottles full in the freezer. It's going to be so much fun to be able to pull them out in the dead of winter and enjoy a little bit of spring :)

To finish off your yummy rhubarb juice you can mix 1 part syrup with two parts water or for a fizzy spritzer you can use a sparkling water like Pellagrino instead plain water for a real treat. Personally that's my favorite way to drink it and it is so refreshing on a hot day.

Have fun making some of your own!


PS. Looking for more yummy recipes?? Check out this week's Hearth and Soul blog hop :)

Sunday, June 12, 2011



It has been a simply beautiful weekend full of bursts of sunshine, squeals of laughter, splashing in the kiddie pool, weeding, planting, crazy flash rain squalls and time playing together :)

Throwing sticks into the river

There was stick tossing in the raging river...

Canada Geese in our pond

glimpses of the pair of canada geese that have a nest in our pond...

Peek a boo

the calls from our cow as he begged for more clover and handfuls of grass...

Container Cucumbers

major growth spurts in the vegetable garden...

Strawberry Galette

baking sweet strawberry galettes, grinding wheat for pastry and rye breads, cookie mixing, a whole lot of finger licking and lip smacking...

Strawberry Galette

and of course enjoying the fruit of all our work :)

Now you know where we've been hiding *grin*. Our days are just bursting with activity. Some of it chores but there seems to be an awful lot of play LOL.

I was listening to a podcast today about the different stages of a child's development and how important play and imagination are in those precious younger years and it was so reassuring to hear. Sometimes I feel that I am way to easy going and there isn't enough academics to counter balance the free time but I know they are learning everything they need to know and more and I just want them to enjoy every minute of childhood. There will be many days ahead to learn the hard stuff. For now I want them to spend as much time as they can exploring nature, creating things out of found materials, letting their creativity shine and learning gently through our daily routine :)

Ahh to be a child again would be such a treat :)


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Planting and a Greenhouse Update

Vegetable Garden

We're finally getting down and dirty *grin*.
My oldest and I shoveled all of the rows in the vegetable garden and hauled in manure to dress the beds with. I've been working this spot for nearly 10 years now and the soil is really starting to look super healthy. It was terribly poor sandy soil when we started and everything refused to grow in it but as we turned the soil this year it was loaded with big fat earth worms, was darker and it just looks better so I can't wait to see how everything grows!

Floating Row Cover

I'm trying something new this year and using floating row covers over the newly planted seeds. Last year the birds took a lot of the seed right out of the ground as soon as we planted and I even had my first crop of broccoli stripped of every green leaf and had to start over. So this should keep everything safe!

You should have seen the robins sitting on the fence posts watching us as we put the beans in. You just knew that as soon as you turned your back they were going to swoop in but we quickly covered the bush and pole beans with the cover and foiled their plans *grin*. It's actually keeping the little seedlings warmer to! It's been only two days and they are already starting to sprout and they never germinate that fast.

First Wall

Oh and check out my greenhouse!!
This is the back wall and it has two giant windows and just a foot and a half of solid wall at the bottom maximizing the early morning sun that comes over the mountain first thing in the morning...

Wall Raising

and here is one of the side walls with another big window that will go in. I just love the smell of the cedar and the chunky size of the hand milled lumber that my dad milled :)


Only one more wall to go up in the front which will have two more giant windows and I have an old solid glass door for the front so it is going to be awesome! Oh my I can't wait. It is smoking hot out here all summer so it's going to be perfect :)

It's taking a little longer than I had planned for it to be completed as Hubby comes and goes between work but I've waited years for this to happen and even if I don't get to utilize the full summer growing season I'm going to do some winter crops in it this fall and next spring it'll be ready to go right away. Yay, I can't wait *grin*.

How's your week going? I hope you all are enjoying some sunshine, time outdoors and maybe even some time getting your hands really dirty in the dirt :)


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Ocean's Day Fun


This weekend was Ocean Day. All about fish and creatures of the sea :)

Suction Cups

Oh my goodness was it fun! There were all sorts of tanks and buckets along the dock for the kids to investigate like this up close view of an octopus' suction cups :)


It was actually quite comical when the octopus showed up. We were standing there watching a big halibut when a fisherman zipped up in front of us and dumped a giant orange blob of jello into an empty bucket and starting to fill it with salt water. Well the octopus was less than amused and shot water out in a big gush at all of the little kids peering in :)

My youngest screamed and jumped back. If I hadn't caught hold of him I think he might have flown right off the edge of the dock finger we were all standing on and plunged into the ocean LOL. He wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with it anymore *grin*.


Other kids found it absolutely fascinating and would pick up his wayward tentacles that tried to escape the bucket and would put them back in!

Petting Lingcod

A more docile lingcod allowed them to pet it and feel it's slimy scales...

Sea Star

there were all sorts of different sea stars to be picked up...

Sea Cucumber

and of course there were stranger specimens like this spiky sea cucumber...


and this very interesting Nudibranch which I think is actually a member of the sea slug family. Ewww LOL.

Seal Bait

Just a little further down the dock we found a large box of frozen fish. At first we weren't sure what they were for since nobody was there but we quickly found out what to do with them when we noticed a very large harbour seal swimming down below the dock :)

Seal Show

Each time we tossed in a fish the seal would come out from under a boat and take the fish to eat. So neat!

Fish 4 Sale

There was lots of fresh fish to be bought as well. This fishermen had lingcod, snapper and rock fish for sale by the pound. Some of it was frozen in the hold....


others were still alive and being held in little net pens off the sides of the dock like this one full of lingcod :)

Fish Printing

Once we were finally all finished oohing and ahhing over the fish and getting our fill of touching them we headed over to the tents to pick up the fish prints that we had made when we first arrived.

Each of the children got a chance to make a print of a salmon...

China Rock Cod

and this very interesting China rock fish. Just look at that giant eyeball and mouth!

Fish Prints

I just love how they turned out :)
After two hours, mild sunburns and a handful of stickers and posters each we finally called it a day and headed home. For the next hour as I drove us home the kids relived each and every moment so it must have been a great day *grin*.

Hope you all had a great weekend to!


Friday, June 3, 2011

Coffee & Danger

Coffee Break

I don't drink coffee in the morning very often but by about 3pm I am craving it something fierce! It doesn't matter what's going on around the house or what we're in the middle of. If it's time for an afternoon coffee break everything grinds to a halt *grin*.

Not so dangerous now

So today I thought I'd make a pumpkin cake with some of my home canned pumpkin spears, a sprinkle of walnuts and chocolate topped with a bit of icing as a special treat for coffee time :)

I had my hands full of magazines to show my mom and my camera when we left home so I got my oldest to carry up the cake and I couldn't help but giggle and snap a few pictures of him when I saw what was hanging out of his pocket...

The Dangerous Book for Boys

his new copy of the Dangerous Book for Boys.

I found it at the thrift store the other day and knew he would love it. It's full of how to's on making bows and arrows, constructing tree forts, silly tricks, playing marbles, setting trip wires, building catapults, using swiss army knives and more.

So there he was, my wanna be dangerous boy, carrying the cake in his hands, a coil of rope slung over one shoulder and his handbook hanging out of his pocket :)

Coffee Break

While my mom and I enjoyed our coffee and cake the kids gobbled theirs and ran off to play. They had more important things to do like ride bikes...

Knot Tying

and learn to tie a better knot :)

I just know he's going to use his little brother as a guinea pig. Plus I think sometimes he secretly wishes he could tie him up so that he could have a moment without him asking a million questions or wanting to play with his toys *grin*. I just may have to teach the little guy how to chew through a knot! LOL.

Happy weekend!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Feathered and Ready To Explore

Growing Girls

The girls are growing!
We keep calling them our babies but really they don't look much like those fuzzy little fluff balls we had anymore :) Their feathers are fully in and they are growing more inquisitive every day. You can see them eyeing up the outdoors when we come in to feed and pet them so I think we're going to have to get their yard finished. Some of the fence needs mending and a layer of fish net needs to be hung over the pen to keep the hawks and eagles from swooping in and taking any. We definitely don't want what to happen!

Dandelion Feast

So while they're waiting to be released into the grassy wild we've been feeding them little dandelion blossom treats and they love them.

Eating Dandelions

So much in fact that they fight over them *grin*.
One will get a flower in its beak and then another will swoop in and snatch it away and this goes on for a while until we drop in another for them to squabble over :)

Smelling the Roses...

My daughter on the other hand mesmerizes them. I think I have mentioned in another post that she is like the chick whisperer and it never fails that they flock to her :) Every time she picked one up it would just tuck its beak into the dandelion blossom and hang out. Talk about taking time to smell the roses.... or dandelions in this case *grin*.

She's been taking on a lot of the responsibility of feeding them to and heading out in the mornings on her own to fill their feed dishes and talk to them. It's so cute :)

Oh and I wanted to let you know that Hubby made it safely home Monday morning!! I waited up until 2am for him to get here and it was so nice to have him back. I got the play by play account of how the whole accident went down from him blowing the gear in his tug, to calling out on the radio in hopes that someone might be near enough to help him out and getting no response, to him waiting till the last possible moment to decide to cut his tow loose as he waited hoping that it might hit the beach and hang up on the rocks so that he could save it, and finally how he threw out the anchor which I thought would be a done deal and it was over but no he wasn't sure if it was even going to hold him!! Thank goodness it held or he would have been smashed to bits on the rocks through the rapids like his tow.

We enjoyed two days together as he rested up and slept after so many sleepless nights and now he's gone again. All thoughts of danger pushed out of my mind as we count the days until he returns again :)