Sunday evening dessert party: i

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The rhubarb sat on the counter for a day:  A gift offered from the neighbor in the back, diagonal.  She asked, “Do you like rhubarb?”

In years past her children liked rhubarb jam, but they don’t have time or interest in that anymore.  It sat on the counter for 29 hours, several times passed with thought to move it to the fridge, but it didn’t.

Sunday evening, and eyes turning toward dinner, there they sat, still crisp.  It seemed a shame not to do something with it, though wilted rhubarb has been used for pies, or jams, or crumbles or muffins, and those have always turned out fine — it freezes fine, too, but it becomes a wimpy, slimy thing:  In the end, that’s all it really is.

It seemed discourteous to let it reach that point, unbeknownst or not.  So dinner was slightly delayed by guilty pleasure — sugar cannot really be cut back a lot with rhubarb:  SIL coughed on the first bite and gave herself a few esophageal pounds, “Gets ya right in the…  It’s good, though.”

Even with tapioca, it was runny.  Mom always said a good pie always was.  As always they are, it was — with just a slice remaining, held reserved for Mom.

Strawberry-rhubarb crumble

 

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As they say, “To nasz majówkowy HIT!”  And indeed it was, enjoyed by tall and small alike, til not a crumb remained!

Unlike that pesky bread, this is extremely easy to replicate – a very simple crumble and simply strawberries and rhubarb stewed, then spread atop.

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One third of the sugar was not missed and half was dark brown.  Additionally, surprised to find no lemons in the ‘fridge, a lime stood substitue and added a really nice flavor.  The only complaint came from dad, disparaging that there was not enough rhubarb, as his teeth didn’t feel chalky!

It’s Jam Time!!

The farmers market is over-flowing with rhubarb.  I have always been a bit leery of rhubarb but Dan is a huge fan of strawberry rhubarb pie.  So, I bought a bunch and started thinking about what to do with it.  I opted against a pie, much to Dan’s dismay, as he would likely be the only one to eat it.  I don’t think he had a problem with THAT…..but I wanted to do something that maybe everyone would enjoy.

On Saturday, I assembled all ingredients to make rhubarb bread in the bread machine.  There are no pictures as it came out the size of a brick (no raising) and it tasted, as Dan put it, like zucchini bread!  I don’t quite get that as there was no zucchini involved in the making of this bread.

Well, I still had a large bag of diced rhubarb left and was determined to make something appealing and appetizing.  We are still about a month or so away from getting local strawberries but thank goodness California ships them our way.  The stores have been fairly generous in their pricing for a 1 pound container….we can normally find them for about $1.50.  I tend to have to buy several containers at once since the boys especially enjoy them.

I followed the VERY simple recipe on the back of the pectin bag and we now have strawberry rhubarb jam to enjoy!  I also just threw some ingredients into the bread machine (way TOO hot to turn on the oven!) and we will soon have homemade egg bread….sounds like breakfast to me!

Jen’s Oh So Easy Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

To soften the rhubarb, I placed it in a sauce pan and added water – not quite covering the rhubarb.  I also added orange zest.  I let it come to a boil and then turned the heat down till it was soft.

For this particular recipe, you will want a total of 4 cups of fruit.  I wound up breaking it down to 2 cups mashed berries and 2 cups rhubarb.

Mix together 1 1/2 cups sugar and the instant pectin.  Add this to the 4 cups of smooshed fruit and mix for about 3 minutes.  You will see it start to thicken.  Pour into glass jars and let them sit on the counter uncovered for about 30 minutes.  After that, store as needed.  This will stay fresh in the fridge for a month or in the freezer for 1 year.