This is the story of two recipes that didn’t turn out at all the way I planned.
I was going to make you pink strawberry waffles today. My baby–my first baby–turned six and, not to be outdone by her sister’s chocolate waffle birthday coup, requested strawberry waffles for breakfast. Pink, please.They were delicious. I used my regular yeast-raised batter (which works beautifully for both waffles and pancakes), adding a few generous spoonfuls of strawberry preserves in place of the sugar. And then, in a stroke of genius suggested by a reader-friend, I tinted the batter as pink as can be with a sprinkle of that beet powder I thought I’d never use again. Of course, the baked waffles were mostly waffle-colored, which was a bit of a disappointment to us all (mostly me). Continue reading →
There are harbingers of spring in the garden. Eggs and herbs. Flowers and spots of sunshine. I’d like to say that this rhubarb jam is a celebration of my first harvest of the year, but it’s not.The rhubarb still has a ways to grow. Instead, this jam celebrates a more mundane annual ritual: cleaning out the freezer. While fruit picked at the peak of ripeness and made instantly into jam preserves some of the flavor of summer, frozen fruits (or vegetables, in rhubarb’s case) are a perfectly acceptable alternative. And when it all gets to be too much for us in the summertime–all the plums ripen at the same instant I find myself unable to resist a box of peaches at the market and my brother offers to bring a haul of rhubarb to town–well, into the freezer it goes. And at this time of year, when our kids have eaten through our obviously-inadequate annual supply of jam, we’re glad to have summer’s bounty patiently waiting for us to deal with it.
In the past few days, we’ve made peach, yellow plum, Italian plum, plum-ginger, and this rhubarb jam. We canned most of it, froze some, and experimented with making a sticky jam tart. And hopefully these 35 jars will hold us over until summer comes again.
The Rhubarb Brown Sugar Jam is simple but seductive. Sweet, bracing, tonic. And maybe, where you are, you can already pick a few stalks of rhubarb or find it at your local market. The recipe is infinitely scalable. You can make one jar to spoon over toast (think of it with this bread!) or a big batch to freeze or can. Or do as my 5 year old did and just enjoy a bowl of it with a spoon. (I probably would have added some yogurt to the bowl myself, but hey.)