You may consider this, dear readers, act two in the three-act May drama that I’ve come to think of as rhubarb-stravaganza. The tragedy, or perhaps the ecstasy, of being interested in seasonal cooking is that when the window opens for an ingredient — especially if it’s a relatively short window — one must take advantage.
The rhubarb window is open, folks. And here I am, milking it for all it’s worth.
Last week, after all, was vanilla ice cream with rhubarb compote. I don’t want to give anything away, but up next is rhubarb redux — with a pastry shell. And that leaves this post. In which my very patient friend Linda, master canner, answers all the same jammy how-to questions that I always ask her, but this time with specific reference to a certain red stalky fruit.*
I would venture that the fact that Elizabeth came to town, wielding a specific request to be taught the ways of the water-bath, helps with the ‘very patient’ part of Linda’s demeanor. But still, I can’t decide whether to thank her, apologize, or both.
At least twice a year, I can with Linda. At least twice a year, she explains to me how it is done. And at least twice a year, I promptly forget everything she’s shown me and proceed to saddle her with a barrage of basic canning queries that I know we’ve been through before.
At any rate, as you’ll see in just a minute, this is a pictorial post, only. The rhubarb vanilla jam depicted here is almost painfully good. But unfortunately, it isn’t mine. It comes from the Food in Jars cookbook by Marisa McClellan, whose fabulous blog I mentioned here last time around.
If you want the recipe, go buy her book. And in the meanwhile, enjoy watching my very skilled friend ply her abilities in the name of disseminating knowledge!
(As always, consider clicking on the photos. They’re much better when viewed large.)
In case you’re interested, the white lids you see in the last picture are Tattler reusable canning lids. Linda recommends them highly.
* While rhubarb is biologically a vegetable, it is legally a fruit in the United States. Don’t ask me why. I have the vague impression that it has something to do with import duties, but then — I’m not a lawyer.