The season’s starting

You can tell it’s spring when the outdoor stalls start opening up in the farmers’ market, and you can tell it’s almost summer when the first strawberries show up there as well. But rather than write about strawberries, delicious as they are, today’s topic is rhubarb, which is also deliciously in season, and which I chopped into a rhubarb-rosemary jam today, in a fit of do-something different.

Actually I blame gardener buddy for this one, because she emailed me the link to a far more serious jam and chutney blogger, who wrote enthusiastically about her rhubarb-lavender jam, which was itself an adaptation from a rhubarb-rosemary recipe. I didn’t have lavender readily available, but rosemary was an option, so I adapted the adaptation back to the original.

First off, this may well turn out to be the easiest jam I’ve ever made, thanks perhaps to the pre-boiling where you take honey and the juices the emerge when you macerate rhubarb with sugar for a few hours (or overnight). OK, there was a fair amount of chopping at the beginning, but once the boiling started, the jam was ready well before the jars, which were still in the dishwasher being swilled out madly with really hot water. I mean this sucker set before you could blink twice, turning into a jewel red jam with a lingering rosemary taste. I suspect I either misread the recipe, or didn’t chop the rosemary finely enough, because there are some decidedly woody bits mixed in with the rhubarb, but I have decided these only add character to the finished product.

Grading to come later, after the first taste test.

Only four jars though. Not many to give away.

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