Have you ever had a period in your life where something ugly reared its ugly head and consumed you, only to spit you out a different a slightly scarred person? In that time you may feel a heavy weight that mysteriously disconnects you from your body and and makes your mind weightless as your emotions cavort and wreak havoc upon your life. It is a strange and awful world where words make little sense and the familiar becomes a source of anxiety and distress.
To all the wonderful people who follow my little slice of blog heaven, thank you. Discovering your new comments over the last few weeks as I desperately wanted to write and experiment in the kitchen (but couldn't) has been a real source of joy.
My first venture into the kitchen after the seams of the world came undone was to make something for the mothers in my life. My mother and mother-in-law are two very supportive and loving women and I wanted to honour them in some small way this Mother's Day and there is no better way to show that than with a homemade gift. You are no doubt wondering why I am writing about Mother's Day a week late. Well, it's because I didn't get any pictures of that batch of jam (thanks to the foggy head space), so I had to wait until I made another batch.
The other day I ventured into the kitchen to concoct another batch of this lovely jam and I must say, I'm happy with the results. I didn't bother processing in a boil water bath because I didn't want to waste the snap lids, but feel free to do so. Process for 10 minutes in a boil water bath, just make sure there are a few inches of water above the jars.
The original recipe was developed by Marisa at Food in Jars and in it's original incantation it was a rhubarb and rosemary jam. If you like making your own preserves you should definitely head over to her blog, she is definitely a fantastic resource! I made a few changes, some borne out of taste preferences (mint for rosemary), some out of necessity (a lack of pectin).
4 cups chopped rhubarb
3 cups sugar
1 cup water
2-3 generous sprigs of mint
1. Crush the mint a bit to release the oils. You could even wrap the crushed/chopped herbs in cheese cloth for easier removal.
2. Combine all ingredients and bring to a soft boil, make sure the mix in bubbling. I stir this fairly often so that it won't stick to the bottom of the pot.
3. You'll notice I didn't use pectin, instead I just let it simmer on medium until it reached 220* degrees. Feel free to use pectin. If you do so, add the pectin after the rhubarb is broken down, stir it in and boil for 2 minutes. Marisa notes this jam can overcook very easily and the woman speaks the truth. Remove the pot from the heat once it reaches 220 or after the 2 minute mark. Remove the mint.
4. Ladle into jars. It's your choice here; either you can process in a boil water canner for 10 minutes or allow to cool and treat it as if it were freezer jam (which means stick it in the freezer!).
Ta da! Jam. This is divine on a slice of toast or even as an impromptu chutney for chicken or pork. I even caught my little girl fishing out a spoonful this morning which she ate straight up. Making this jam was a holistic experience and while it may not have the same profound effect on you as it did me, it's damn good jam.