June 28, 2013

Bear Essentials: Rhubarb
( + Peanut Butter and Rhubarb Jam )

So...I made jam, and it was embarrassingly easy.  In fact, as long as you remember to keep your face and other body parts from hovering over the sputtering pot of molten fruit, it's almost the easiest thing you can possibly do.  Just mix fruit with sugar, and place over heat.  Bam.

And since jam was on my list of challenges to attempt this year, and it turned out to be no challenge at all, I'm now wondering what other items on my list might be deceptively simple.  I think it's time to revisit the list, and to assess my progress.

1.    French Onion Soup. Yup, totally did that.  Definitely worth the time and slicing.  Yum!   
                                             Done!  April 2013 
2.    Fried Avocados.  Maybe in tacos.  Who am I kidding?  Of course in tacos.
3.    DuckShouldn't seem as scary as it does.  But it is.
4.    Boeuf Bourguignon.  Turns out that if you don't like big hunks of beef, it doesn't matter how 
                                     classic and beloved this dish is.  You're still probably not going to care 
                                     for it.  Oh well. 
                                              Done!  January 2013
5.    Garlic-Parmesan Fries.  I had a transcendental experience at a food truck in November.  It's 
                                          something everyone should get to experience.
6.    Caramel Apples.  Because it's a whole year before I can get another one from Aunt Laura at 
                                Christmas.  And that's about 11 months too far away.
7.    Indian Food.  Yes, in general.  I've got a lot to learn.
8.    Take-Out-Style Orange BeefNot the way it ever comes, of course.  The way it should be.
9.    Jam.  Embarrassingly Easy.  Humiliated that I waited this long to try it.    
                   Done!  June 2013
10.  FondueBecause I've owned the pot for 10 years.  It's probably time I learned how to use it.

Well.  That's embarrassing.  If you're playing along at home, you'll note that we're more than halfway through the year, and I'm 3 for 10.  Although, to be fair, it's probably more like 3.75 for 10, because we (a) totally went out for Indian food a couple of months ago, and (b) have an awful lot of ducks living in our pond right now.  That has to count at least for fractions, right?  

It's time to get my ass in gear.  I'm leaning toward starting with the avocados.  But for just a moment, let's savor one of the few accomplishments I have managed to carry out: this rhubarb jam.

Peanut Butter and Rhubarb Jam
slightly adapted from 'wichcraft
by Tom Colicchio and Sisha Ortuzar 

 You don't have to eat this jam with peanut butter on an English muffin, but I'd highly recommend it.  The tartness of the jam next to the richness of the peanut butter and the crisp, poky bits of the English muffin is something special.  And since you'll have plenty of jam left over, I'd advise improvising with it.  I've got plans for some rhubarb-crumb bars, a truffle or two, and an oatmeal concoction - and that's just for next week....
For Jam:
Rhubarb  [ trimmed and diced, 4 cups ]
Sugar  [ 2 cups plus 1 teaspoon ]
Lemon Juice  [ from 1 lemon ]
Powdered Pectin  [ 1 teaspoon ]

For Each English Muffin:
Peanut Butter  [ 3 tablespoons ]
English Muffins  [ toasted ]

1.   In a lidded bowl, combine Rhubarb, 2 cups of the Sugar, and Lemon Juice.
2.   Place lid on bowl and refrigerate mixture overnight

3.   Pour Rhubarb Mixture into a small pot and bring to a boil.
4.   Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes.
5.   Remove pot from heat and set aside.
6.   In a small bowl, mix Pectin and remaining teaspoon of Sugar.
7.   Stirring constantly, mix in a small amount of hot Rhubarb Mixture. 
8.   Repeat with additional small amounts of Rhubarb Mixture until Pectin Mixture is thoroughly dissolved 
         and bowl contains at least 1/2 cup of Mixture.
9.   Add contents of small bowl to Rhubarb Mixture in pot.
10.   Return pot to stove; bring to a boil.
11.   Remove Jam from heat; pour into a clean container with a lid.
12.   Cool Jam completely; place lid on container and refrigerate.

13.   Split and toast English Muffin.
14.   Spread Peanut Butter on open sides of English Muffin.
15.   Top with 1-2 tablespoons of Rhubarb Jam.

[ Note: jam will keep, lidded and refrigerated, for at least 2 weeks. ]

This time last year on Being a Bear:
Tuscaloosa Tollhouse Pie

No comments:

Post a Comment