29 May 2014

My Two Favorite Ways to Preserve Rhubarb

In the last week I've bottled two batches of rhubarb chutney and two batches of rhubarb marmalade.  These are my two favorite ways to preserve rhubarb.  They are both extremely delicious and quite easy.  Here's how you make the marmalade.

My orange chunks on this batch were a bit bigger than normal, because my food processor was having issues.
  1. Don't be pregnant.  This was my mistake last year.  Everything is easier when not pregnant.  You can think briefly that you might be pregnant, enough to make your husband suggest you buy a pregnancy test, and your toddler can, weirdly, say to you, What's the matter of Mama?  Mama has a baby in her tummy.  But don't actually be pregnant.

  2. Chop 6 cups of rhubarb and throw it in a pot.  If a toddler is helping you, chop the rhubarb and then let the toddler throw it in the pot.  Be careful that he doesn't get too attached to the rhubarb pieces or he will throw a fit when you suggest that they are intended for cooking and you'll have to make patient negotiations to trade the rhubarb for blocks.  If you were actually pregnant, this would send you over the edge, so don't be pregnant (see 1.).

  3. Add 6 cups of sugar to the pot.

  4. Set the toddler down in front of the iPad to watch Russian machine videos on YouTube so your head doesn't explode when he begins chanting about a 'little taste of sugar.'  Don't feel bad about it, you would also be doing this if you were pregnant just to get a little rest.  

  5. Chop 2 whole oranges (rind and all) in a food processor and add to the pot.

  6. Stir everything up and bring to a boil over mediumish heat.

  7. Simmer uncovered for about an hour (probably a little less) until the mixture sheets off a spoon.

  8. If you're ambitious, you can put your baby in a high chair and give her toys/food to play with so she's not always crawling over to the stove and standing up, possibly putting her in the path of boiling liquids, but this is not required.

  9. Process in a water bath for 10 minutes.  Makes 7-8 half pints.
Original recipe here.  Notes about the original recipe: I don't find it necessary to put the mixture into hot jars, just clean ones (USDA now says you don't have to sterilize if you're processing for 10 minutes or more).  Also, my rhubarb creations never come out very red because our rhubarb variety is not very red.  

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