Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Preserving the love

Do you have a favourite sound?

Some people love birds chirping, others relish the chance to sleep listening to the ocean waves, and some people want nothing else than to hear their family's laughter.

Laughter is definitely up there for me, but my favourite sound is the short and sweet high pitched pop of a jar of jam sealing.

I know that sound is probably not something that came to your mind when you were thinking about all the amazing sounds in the world, but nothing brings a smile to my face like it. A grin slides across my cheeks and I laugh every single time I hear it. And for that brief moment, I can't think of anything wrong in my life.

Every time I make jam I hope that my jars of sweetened fruit will gel and I'll be able to enjoy the taste of the sugary goodness spread across toast the next day. And every time I hear that pop, I know that I will get to share my homemade yumminess with friends the next time they come for brunch too.

And jam and jellies are so versatile so how can you not get excited?

You can make sweet jams for breakfast, savoury jellies to serve with meat for dinner, melt down jams into syrups for desserts, and also smooth jellies onto cheese to serve as an appetizer.

That's all your meals! You won't need another condiment ever again!

Well, maybe you still can have other condiments... But jam is amazing.

Strawberry, raspberry, peach, blackberry, marmalade, and grape. Mint, hot pepper, rosemary, and more. I love jam. The more the merrier with me.

I had mentioned in a previous post that I was almost out of jam and had thought about perhaps trying to make pineapple.

But I chickened out and made an old favourite instead. Don't worry though, I'll get around to making pineapple one day. Just keep checking back and maybe remind me if I forget.

So what I made today was rhubarb. It's spring and I love the tangy sweetness of this jam. It's so good on toast or a warm croissant with cream cheese. Incredible spread on two pieces of toast with bacon sandwiched inside. And also amazing for desserts, meats, and cheese.

Could rhubarb jam be the most versatile jam of them all? Try it and find out.

Easy Rhubarb Jam

3 cups roughly chopped rhubarb
3/4 cup water
5 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

1. Combine rhubarb and water in a large pot and boil until rhubarb is soft, about 5 minutes.

2. Mix in sugar and boil for another minute.

3. Mash rhubarb until desired consistency. I like to still have some larger tangy chunks in mine but you could mash it down to perfectly smooth too.

4. Remove from heat and stir in pectin. Stir for 5 minutes.

5. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal tightly. I sterilize my jars by putting the glass jar into a 200 degree oven before I start cooking my fruit and sterilize my lids by boiling them in a small pot of water.

6. Now for the best part, listening for the pop!

My sister has told me to try putting a little freshly grated ginger into my rhubarb jam, and while it sounds yummy, I haven't yet tried it. Let me know if you do. :)

And if you haven't tried my favourite breakfast of a bacon and jam sandwich, please get out your frying pan right now. You'll thank me after your first bite.

... If you don't stuff your mouth with your second bite right away.

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