Monday, June 11, 2012

Barbie Rhu

She stands out red and well-girthed on the far side of town, her long cheeks rouged and ever so slightly green. All the bugs and slugs under her; a profusion of pests whose days are spent in the seclusion and safety of her wide hips and hairy green leaves - wide, elephantine amongst this small English garden.

The rhubarb plant is a sturdy gal and one I can neither kill; nor abate her growing fury, despite my weekly random leaf plucking, stalk slashing and general abuse of this well-established, stubborn English maid. 

In my natural joy of owning a healthy plant I decide I must, obviously, do something with the bounty. A ferret on google reveals this simple recipe, much praised and easily produced: Rhubarb and Vanilla Jam.

Equal your weight of barb to sugar - say 1kg of each. Throw it in the jam pan and let the sugar melt, when it has melted add a whole vanilla pod  - whip it about a bit and then leave the jam to boil and bubble and furiously become jam - a matter of ten minutes of so.   

I like the saucer test best, to check for jam jammage conclusion, stick a saucer in the freezer - after ten minutes of jamming - drop a few splots onto said frozen saucer and push the jam with your finger tip - if it forms wrinkles its ready to go - if not keep boiling for another few minutes and then try the saucer test again.   

Decant - enjoy.

Sweet, tart - this stuff is truly gorgeous on hot buttered toast, as a compote with fresh sliced English strawberries, or on just out the oven warm , steamy scones...

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