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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Blue-Barb Jam

I got into making jam because of my Grandma. She was an extraordinary cook and was always up to something in the kitchen. And she went the extra mile. She would heat the maple syrup for our pancakes on mornings after we'd spent the night. She made her own jam. She made horseradish...she made stuff that most people just buy. And so I grew up in a family where buying pie crust was sacrilege. Jam...always homemade. My mom was the same way - blueberry and raspberry jam from the garden in the backyard. Tomato sauce with the over-abundance of tomatoes. And the famed story of the time she and my dad tried to make wine in their younger years...and I think as the story goes, it spilled, there was a lot of sugar...

I'm getting ready to make my annual batch of orange (+ grapefruit as Grandma always did) marmalade. It's become a pre-Christmas thing for me and now Paddy's mom counts on a few jars when goes home for the holiday. But this is a recipe for Blue-Barb jam - it's an end of summer jam, when the rhubarb is out. It's a nice twist on standard blueberry since it adds a little extra tart.

We went through half a dozen jars this summer/fall. It's also great mixed in with plain Greek yogurt, on waffles, in oatmeal...

1 lb rhubarb stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb of blueberries
3 cups of sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and cook over medium high heat, stirring constantly until the berries have burst and rhubarb is soft. Remove from heat.

2. Mash the rhubarb and berries against the side of the pan, simmer over moderate heat for another 10 minutes or until it's thickened.

3. Pour the jam into jars and refrigerate up to 2 weeks or return to boiling water to seal.

*Makes 4 cups.

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