I never thought myself to be a sun girl. Having grown up in the Midwest, I loved all the seasons… and in particularly, fall was the one I looked forward to the most. But, I suppose, after living 8 years in LA and 10 years in Austin, the sun became a piece of me that I didn’t know I loved until I didn’t have it. Moving to the Pacific Northwest has taught me about waiting for that Sun to come. Patience. A virtue I am not good at. But good Lord, when she comes, it is magnificent. All you see is color. It’s like your fall, winter and part of spring puts you in this strange cave. And then the end of spring comes, and you walk outside to every color in the rainbow. And more. The sky is this pale blue and the trees are all sorts of green. Dark, light, neon. And you see every flower you’ve ever known. And every flower you don’t. Dark pinks, reds, whites, purples, oranges. My neighbor has a Pink Dogwood in her front yard… and in May it blooms. And every morning while I stand at my kitchen sink doing dishes, I get lost in its beauty. An absolute dreamy daze.
One of the things that the sun grows very easily up here in the Pacific Northwest is Rhubarb. And if there is anyone or anything I think of when Rhubarb is around it’s my Mom. She grew it so well in her backyard and when I was a kid, every spring/summer, we would find new ways to use it. Crisps, Pies, Jelly’s and Jams. SO GOOD! So in honor of Mother’s Day, I bring you a very easy recipe of Rhubarb Jam.
4 ½ Cups of Rhubarb
1 Package of Sure Jell Original Pectin
6 ½ Cups Sugar
1 Cup Orange Juice
1 Tsp Butter
Prepare the jars
Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water.
Fill the canner with water and place the jars on the rack.
Cover the pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Reduce heat and keep the jars hot while you prepare the jam.
Prepare the Rhubarb Jam
Prepare the rhubarb by washing, removing the leaves and chop the rhubarb into 1 inch pieces.
Combine the chopped rhubarb and the orange juice in a non reactive 4 quart sauce pan, bringing to a boil and cooking for 2 minutes or until the rhubarb is tender.
Stir in the pectin and the butter to the softened rhubarb.
Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly.
Add the sugar to the rhubarb and return to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and skim any scum that has risen to the top.
Ladle the hot jam to within ¼" of the hot, clean jars. Wipe the rim with a wet, clean cloth. Add a clean lid and a clean ring. Finger tighten the ring.
Return the filled jar to the hot water canner.Repeat with the remaining jars, returning each filled jar to the water bath canner when filled.
Process the jars for 10 minutes.
Remove the jars from the hot water canner and allow them to rest on a towel lined counter. Once the jars have cooled, check each lid for flex. If a jar flexes, place it in the refrigerator.
Every chance I get, I sit outside. I breathe in that Vitamin D when that glorious sun comes out. I make the kids eat lunch and dinner out on our picnic table. I make them play play play and play outside until its bath time. I turn the TV off and I tell them, this is off until November. HA! SOAK IT IN CHILDREN! SOAK IT ALL IN. The rain has cleared and we need to enjoy all of this. And with that, I give you my pairing of Johnny Nash’s song, I Can See Clearly Now. Yes. Yes. Yes. My theme song up here.
Thank you #JohnnyNash… Thank you.
I’ve been missing my Mom a lot lately. She’s always been the Sun in my life… the woman that teaches me patience. The woman that teaches me to garden and to can my veggies and to make a damn good pie. The woman that gives me perspective, even when I’m not ready to receive it. The woman that teaches me to be a better mom. And a better person. She inspires me even when the sun isn’t shining. I love you mama. Happy Mothers Day today. And every day.
“The sun, --the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to the man—burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory.”