My First Best Friend

I don’t entirely remember every T.V. show I watched as a child, but what I do remember are the people who I watched T.V. with. The Cosby Show with Marissa Brown in her secluded room in the attic; The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air while was babysitting the Shelton kids; and Red Skeleton with Grandpa Hansen.

My earliest memories of a particular T.V. show, or lack-thereof is Power Rangers. It was at daycare and I was probably four years old. My best friend was Chelsie; our moms were best friends so that meant we were friends too. I remember one morning when everybody gathered around the television. I followed suite because it’s what everybody was doing. As usual, I was towards the back of the room and I couldn’t see the screen that was blocked by five or so kids. I asked Chelsie what we were watching, and she replied, “My favorite—Power Rangers“. I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of guilt because that was the one show my mom told me to never watch. I wasn’t quite sure why I wasn’t allowed to watch it, but I knew I had to get out of that cramped room full of Power Ranger-watchers. Embarrassingly, I whispered to Chelsie that I wasn’t allowed. She assured me it was OK, and that she had already seen this episode anyways. She then grabbed my hand, and led me out of the room so we could play a game—just the two of us. It was then that I knew we weren’t just friends just because our parents were.  

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Easy Independence Day Dessert

This involves more rhubarb, I know too much, but I promise you will love this; it’s rhubarb dump cake, and most likely you will already have all the ingredients stashed in you pantry. This recipe will work especially well if you need to bring a dish to a backyard BBQ, and you’re low on time. It’s simple, delicious, and semi-homemade. 

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RHUBARB DUMP CAKE

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (between 3 and 4 cups)
1 cup white sugar
1 (3 ounce package) strawberry jell-o
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread the rhubarb evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar over the rhubarb, followed by the jell-o, and finally the cake mix. Pour the water and melted butter over the top. Do not stir. Bake for 45 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.

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 As you can see, I added a few blueberries on top before baking; I had them lying around and I thought they went well with the red, white, and blue theme. If the rhubarb cake looks to involved for you, please, please make this one. You won’t regret it. 

Easy Independence Day Dessert

This involves more rhubarb, I know too much, but I promise you will love this; it’s rhubarb dump cake, and most likely you will already have all the ingredients stashed in you pantry. This recipe will work especially well if you need to bring a dish to a backyard BBQ, and you’re low on time. It’s simple, delicious, and semi-homemade. 

Image

RHUBARB DUMP CAKE

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (between 3 and 4 cups)
1 cup white sugar
1 (3 ounce package) strawberry jell-o
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. Spread the rhubarb evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle the sugar over the rhubarb, followed by the jell-o, and finally the cake mix. Pour the water and melted butter over the top. Do not stir. Bake for 45 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.

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 As you can see, I added a few blueberries on top before baking; I had them lying around and I thought they went well with the red, white, and blue theme. If the rhubarb cake looks to involved for you, please, please make this one. You won’t regret it. 

Canning Craze- Rhubarb Marmalade

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As you may already know my rhubarb plant is flourishing despite it being July. Because of this, and because I despise throwing things away, I have found one more rhubarb recipe to use–Rhubarb Marmalade. In my first canning craze post where I wrote about rosemary jelly, I mentioned all the wonderful taste of home recipes I found in their 2013 summer issue. From now on, it’s safe to assume all jam and jelly recipes I post about are from this issue.

For this recipe you need about 8 half-pints, the usual canning supplies, and a food processor. Another very important thing to take note of is that this recipe takes about an hour and a half to complete, so give yourself time. The great thing about this recipe is that it only calls for three ingredients. Alright, let’s get started.

RHUBARB MARMALADE

6 cups fresh or frozen rhubarb, chopped
6 cups sugar
2 medium oranges

Combine the rhubarb and sugar in a Dutch oven on medium heat. 

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Then grind oranges, including the peels, in a food processor; add to rhubarb mixture, and bring to a boil. 

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Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring often until marmalade sheets from a spoon (about one hour).

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Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Ladle into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water canner. 

I’ve already opened up my rhubarb marmalade and it’s a nice change from the berry jams I usually enjoy. Although the  citrus seems to be the star, you can still taste a nice hint of rhubarb in the background. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 

Day One. I’ve created a monster.

This is only the beginning.

In my my failed attempt to pack for my third year of college, I’ve discovered a few things. I no longer have a complete pair of matching socks; I’ve uncovered an ancient old coloring book from my childhood; I have way too big of a nail polish collection; but most disturbingly I have developed into an obsessed loose-leaf tea snob over the past three years. Yes I know the previous sentence is atrocious, but we’re moving on. I should be proud that my collection is now able to completely overtake my mother’s repelling, blood-red, table cloth but quite frankly, it stresses me out a bit.

Why? For starters the coconut pouchong wafting my way has just given me one more reason to prolong the packing process. Instead of shoving my entire life’s possestions into tupperware totes, I’ve let myself procatinate so long that I’ve started a blog. Not that I haven’t been thinking of it off an on for the past few months but still, I’ve had better opportunities than now. 

The second reason for my distress is the result of my discovery of Steepster. While in Santa Barbara, California visiting my aunt this past spring, the two of us discovered Steepster after vising the local gift shop, Vices & Spices. Steepster is a site where you can subscribe to receive three new types of loose-leaf tea in the mail every month. You pay only $17 a month, and drink your way to tea paradise. While this sounds magical, it also brings me to my third and final reason why I have turned into a monster.

Unless kept in an extremely, I mean extreme, air-tight container, loose-leaf teas loose their potency, and therefore their flavour. As of now, I only have one air-tight container that is up to my standards, and the rest of my teas are slowly suffering in unsealed mason jars, and misshapen plastic baggies. While I’m most likely exaggerating, this has been known to happen in the past, I feel like the current state of my tea storage is sub-par, and the state of my tea is suffering.

This only leaves me with one option, to create my own kind of Steepster account. Thanks to my influence, the girls who have been in a book club with me for years have also developed a love for tea. Instead of drinking my tea with the thought of a finish line ahead, I will gift them with their very own subscription to my tea collection. One a month, a care package including three different teas with three very specific steeping instructions, will make thier way to Kearney, Nebraska, and Tacoma, Washington.  Until then, I will continue to drink ridiculous amounts of tea with my heavenly sounding Steepster subscription in sight.