Wednesday, July 2, 2008

We're Jammin'

I spent the bulk of today with a few homeschool mother friends – jammin’.

Nope, not to Bob Marley, but with actual strawberries, rhubarb, sterilized jars, boiling with 1/8” of head space in the jar (really, my friend measured it), etc. It was really, really fun despite the incredible heat in the kitchen and our initial batch of strawberry rhubarb jam for which we forget to pre-cook the rhubarb but that mistake yielded a nonetheless delicious concoction we now lovingly refer to as Crunchy Strawberry Rhubarb Jam.

From Whole Foods Market website, I found this funny tidbit about rhubarb:

Garden rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is an extremely hardy perennial herb closely related to garden sorrel. It is sometimes called "pie-plant" by Americans in deference to its eminence as a pastry filling. As an herb, rhubarb is botanically a vegetable but was officially ruled to be a fruit by the US Customs Court in 1947 because of its customary use in that capacity, an example, perhaps, of inappropriate judicial activism.

That’s funny.
And this:

A handful of sugar and a raw stalk of rhubarb is a pleasant memory for anyone fortunate enough to have had access to fresh rhubarb as a child.

I was one of those fortunate children. Rhubarb was my first lik-m-stix.

Tonight, after dinner, we enjoyed little crostinis with homemade butter topped with homemade strawberry rhubarb jam (the crunchy kind). YUM! And don't worry about our safety - one of us was an experienced jammer who was kind enough to share her expertise with the rest of us.


Kim said...

Sounds fun--and messy! Do you have to keep the jam in the fridge or is it OK in the cabinets?

Lynne said...

This is supposedly shelf stable for a long, long time. Although, because we did not follow the directions correctly for the CSRJ (crunchy strawberry rhubarb jam) I am a little concerned that there may be some undesirable effects on the molecular level and have refrigerated those 1/2 cup jars.

I thought the tiny size would be perfect for total consumption on one good breakfast in bed morning!

It was messy and not something that I would undertake without a huge chunk of time and willingness to have all 4 burners of my stove on for the afternoon. Oh yeah, and a professional canner.

Stephen Bourque said...

We cracked open one of the "crunchy" strawberry-rhubarb jars yesterday, and I have to say that the jam is absolutely terrific. It's perfectly well balanced between sweet and tart, and good enough to be scary - it takes a certain amount of effort to bring oneself to close the jar without devouring the rest.

It will be interesting to see if the jam-making thing catches on with Objectivists like the butter-making did in the last few weeks!

Kim said...

Don't count on it! At least not for this Objectivist. I know my limits. Though I will undertake making cordials this year--which was even easier than the butter.