Tuesday, May 10, 2011

June is for Rhubarb!

 Rhubarb is a lovely plant with a strange but pleasant taste; kind of a tart citrus piece of wood, ha,ha, for some reason that comes to mind? The best part about rhubarb is that it waits for you every year with little fussing; unfortunately, the plant goes without appreciation that way.
Never the less, most people think that rhubarb as just a spring fling, the reason being, once we get in our gardens, we are done fooling around with the darn plant! But, did you know you can keep having rhubarb most of the summer if you cut the flower stems off? That's only if you can think of other ways to make rhubarb, and I can't think of any off hand.
It's just me and my husband, and I would never stop fooling around with him! So, I don't like to make huge batches of anything-just a little of everything ech-hem! Joie de vivre! Now that's how I came up with a combination of recipes Amish/English to make this wonderful jam recipe, and it is easier than having to fool around!

Andre's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

 2 cups of ripe strawberries
1/2 cup of Rhubarb
1 cup of sugar
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 pkg of strawberry jello (sugar free)

Wash strawberries, cut the tops off, chop into a 2 qt bowl. Wash rhubarb and strip the outside skin, cut and chop ( I prefer small red stems of rhubarb) add to the bowl. Add your sugar. Microwave for about 3 minutes-stir, microwave again for 3 minutes stir, give it one more minute in the microwave-stir. Take out wearing oven mits and place on a counter. Add lemon juice. stir. Then open the pkg of jello and sprinkle the surface-and quickly stir into fruit. Stir for about 2 minutes.
Have ready 3-4 pint jars and caps ready (sterilized) set on paper towels. Spoon the jam carefully into the jars. Place caps on top of jars. Let cool and PLACE IN THE FRIDGE. This is to use for the next few weeks not for storing in the cupboard. Enjoy on ice cream, toast and English muffins.

Another recipe that sounds pretty good:

Ruby Sauce
From Jill Valentine of Jackson, Tennessee. She writes, "Sweet, tart and absolutely the best sauce...you really have to try it on ribs, chicken or pulled pork!"

1 c. brown sugar, packed
1 c. sugar
1 c. cider vinegar
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. allspice
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 onions, finely chopped
4 c. rhubarb, finely chopped

Combine all ingredients except onions and rhubarb in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer; stir in onions and rhubarb. Cook for 45 minutes to one hour, until thickened and rhubarb is tender. Serves 4 to 6.

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