…And a trip to the rhubarb patch

In the Rhubarb PatchCeleste 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

.  It keeps in the refrigerator for months–or until it is gone.  I’ll also cut some up and put it in zip lock bags to freeze for winter pies.  I have yet to make a rhubarb cake.  Maybe next week.

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. 

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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