The Ladies Page

COUNTRY ECHOES


| May/June 1974



BRANDON WISCONSIN RR-2 53919

Now that our world has awakened to Spring once again, this is a fitting time of the year to take stock. Which of nature's bounties can be used to cut down our ever increasing grocery bills? First of all, don't underestimate rhubarb. Its freezing qualities are excellent. Old coffee cans, lined with Baggies, secured with the plastic lid, make handy containers. I must have between 100 and 200 by now. Cut up your washed rhubarb, shake off moisture and pack in cans. It is that simple.

From my mother's kitchen comes a recipe which I am sure is not widely known. She used to cover this jam with paraffin and store in the basement, but I freeze mine. It keeps so tasty and fresh.

Take 3 cups of rhubarb, cut up fairly fine. Put in large kettle. Add 1 small can of crushed pineapple, 1 large orange, cut up fruit and add. Of course I'm assuming you all know that the seeds and any stringy parts should be removed. Add to all of this 3 cups of sugar. Boil the orange rind and some water in a small kettle until tender. Chop into tiny pieces, and add rind and water to first mixture. Boil all of this slowly until it is of the right consistency. Stir often, but carefully. Test by dipping a small portion into a sauce dish now and again. It does thicken up even more after it cools.

Last Spring, as I was cutting up my rhubarb for the freezer I prepared about three large coffee cans containing 6 cups each. In mid-January I used one of these. I forgot I needed 9 cups for the large batch I always make. I merrily dumped in the six cups, added 3 oranges and rinds, 2 medium sized cans of pineapple, 9 cups of sugar and proceeded to cook it all. It was even better than before. So that is: how I may make my jam from now on, using 3 less cups of rhubarb, for: the original recipe.

To freeze the rhubarb in season seems not to hurt it at all, and then refreeze the jam. It is luscious, and especially so on homemade bread, just a little warm. UMMMM!