Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Remembering Spring, Pt. 2

Superman had kryptonite, and I have rhubarb--my great weakness. In the presence of rhubarb I lose all sense of modesty and proportion. I just harvest and/or buy it until there isn't any left. Last year I trundled across town in an April snowstorm to follow up rumors of the season's first stalks. One day I will look back on my family's rhubarb patch as a formative experience.

I've cut rhubarb through July, and maybe later, but in the markets it's an early season item--probably because people inevitably associate it with strawberries. Fanatics like myself stock up, and freeze.

Last week I laid in my annual supply of strawberry rhubarb jam and hardly made a dent in the rhubarb. Next up was rhubarb ginger, a genius concept I first tasted in Killarney. Liberal amounts of diced ginger lend a warm spice to the jam without detracting from the rhubarb's killer tartness. I started with a double batch, in case the proportions weren't right, but they were spot on--the jam is neither gelatinous nor mushy. For better or worse, I've run out of jars, so the rest gets frozen. In October, when I find that I've somehow eaten all my jam, I'll thaw it out for a rhubarb crisp. Ladies, gentlemen: to rhubarb.

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2 comments:

TheJewAndTheCarrot said...

I'm also a big rhubarb fan - I went to this local foods restaurant in Brooklyn last night and found chunks of savory rhubarb (amongst other vegetables) on top of my goat cheese crepe. It was a tasty surprise.

I recently posted a recipe for an amazing (maybe best ever?!) rhubarb crisp - so if you want to take some of that extra rhubarb out of the freezer a bit early, you could give it a try!

http://jcarrot.org/yiddish-rhubarb-crisp/

All best,
Leah

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