Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The storybook quest (see below) to find more baked goods on which to place jam continues.

Great Grandma Tastad's butterhorns!

In making these, I learned:
1. How to scald milk
2. What "proofing" means
3. How to proof in the oven

Much like blanching rhubarb, I think that both 1 & 3 are not necessary and I'm waiting for my Mom to inform me of this. Regardless, I felt like a pioneer woman when I did both.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

This week has reminded me of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Except, in my case, it's, If You Give a Lauren Some Rhubarb.

It all started when Bryan suggested a geocaching adventure on Sunday. Here'a a memorable shot from our day.

(we didn't ever find this cache...it was tucked away down this prairie trail near this museum and Bryan kept saying, "This is weird. I feel uncomfortable." So we gave up and went to DQ instead.)

One of the caches was located on a local farm - and not just any farm. It's the largest herb farm in ND. http://www.gardendwellersfarm.com/
We happened to be there on rhubarb harvest day so we decided to get some. I had no idea how much to get and was told there's about 5 cups in a pie. So I decided to get enough for two pies.

After cutting, blanching, and freezing, I ended up with 14 cups.

Note: after performing this process, I was told by my mom that you don't really have to blanch rhubarb. Noted.

So, I couldn't just let that rhubarb sit in the freezer for 8-10 months. I had to do something with it.

That lead me to buy all the supplies for cannning because I was going to make rhubarb jam.

I forgot to buy one thing though: a BIG pot for the jam to boil in for 15 minutes.

So I watched helplessly as purple goop splattered....

...all over.

My attempts to stir the jam only made it splatter more, burn my hand, and cause the large purple goo splots on the stove.

Fast forward about 30 minutes from this stage and I have a legion of nice jam jars on the counter. Very satisfying.

But, that wasn't quite enough for me. What's homemade jam without homemade buns? So I made my first ever batch of buns.

And I don't remember how the Mouse was satisfied in the book, but for me, I was satisfied when I got to eat a warm bun with jam on it. I was also satisfied to eat it sitting down because my legs were sore from standing in the kitchen all day.


Shelby and I went to Arizona to visit...


...and Bumpa over Memorial Day weekend.

It was really fun and they had a lot of great places picked out for us to visit.

This was a Mexican restaurant - Tia Rosa.

We had lunch at an olive orchard. I liked their version of bruschetta: bread topped with marscapone cheese and nutella.

Bumpa has a great mode of transportation.

We had a little mishap when Granny was nearly run over as she was trying to get in the back. No one was injured; we just had a good laugh.

Our traditional Memorial Day weekend cookout: corn on the cob, hot dogs, and potato salad.

I knew going in that we were heading to the desert, and, never having been to AZ before, I didn't really know what to expect as far as the heat...I never appreciated air conditioning more. Here we are enjoying some AC in their Arizona Room.

We came home tan, well fed, and happy.