Celeste came in with her husband to see “up close and personal” some of the recent merchandise spotlighted in Cottage Chat [see Cottage Chat page]. After chatting and browsing, we talked about how lush the rhubarb patch was, even after the nipping it sustained during the late spring frost.
“Would you like some?” I asked. “It really needs to be picked.”
They said they would love to make rhubarb pinwheels to take to an Aunt they are visiting down south. How serendipitous it is to migrate from our garden-level shop to the enclosed bed to pick fresh rhubarb. We all three began pulling tender stalks and cutting off the leafy heads for compost. We thought four cups or so, cut up, would be enough for her recipe, but extra can always go in the freezer.
What have I made from the bounty? So far, two pies; but I also plan a batch of easy, strawberry rhubarb preserves
Strawberry-Rhubarb Refrigerator Preserves
10 cups cut-up fresh rhubarb
6 cups sugar
1 large box strawberry gelatin
Combine rhubarb, sugar, and scant 1/8 cup of water. Cook over medium heat until rhubarb is soft and separated. Remove from heat and add gelatin powder and stir well to blend. Fill pint or quart jars and store preserves in refrigerator. Share with friends!
The gelatin acts as the thickener and contributes flavor and color. This recipe is as tasty as long-cooking preserves, but takes much less time. It is one of my frequently-requested recipes, especially when I serve it with lemon scones and clotted cream.