Ok, its Mother's Day too, but today I spent the morning putting rhubarb up in the freezer. A wonderful way to try and haul summer a bit closer.
I had purchased some from a local grocery store (my country soul was aghast that I bought rhubarb, usually something you have in abundance) and then a good friend let us harvest some of her patch just a few days later.
I decided to freeze the rhubarb in 2 cup allotments. I alway dice the rhubarb in roughly 1/4 inch cubes. I mostly use the rhubarb in sauces or breads (or crisps and cobblers and cakes and cookies) but I dislike the more usual inch-sized chunks. Then I add a little sugar, just enough to start some maceration. The juice makes a better seal in the freezer bag, and the sugar helps keep it from being super watery when its thawed. I always freeze it raw, I think it tastes fresher than when you blanch it first. I ended up with 4 bags of 2 cups each. I'm also bringing a few stalks to Mom and Dad's house, they prefer to use it fresh and its a bit colder in their part of Michigan (no rhubarb ready yet). I kept out enough to make some rhubarb muffins for breakfast one morning this week... yum!
I will be using last year's harvest of berries and making some jam tomorrow. We had 3 kinds of raspberries, 3 kinds of currrants (black, red and 'champagne')and 3 kinds of gooseberries. Not enough of each type for a big batch on thier own, but we kept adding them to a big freezer bag and we have enough for several pints of mixed-berry jam :-}
The very next sunny day (maybe Wednesday, but not really expected until next weekend) I will be gathering violets and making Aeron's violet jam. (see link to Aeron's blog to the right to find the recipe). I might experiment with rose petals next month, and I plan to make some rose-hip jelly this fall. I will probably use some of it as gifts this Yule, as I can't imagine we two will use it all up ourselves.
(picture of Hinomaki Red Gooseberries, June 2005 (they aren't red yet)