Sunday, May 14, 2006

Rhubarb Sunday, Gooseberry Monday

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)


Ysabeau said...

My grandmother used to grow gooseberries and make jelly and pie with them every year. I can't say I ever really got a taste for them, but she really loved them. B*B, Ysabeau

Diana Troldahl said...

I like them as long as there's PLENTY of sugar!