I saw a recipe for rhubarb-rose preserves in Linda Ziedrich's Joy of Jams, Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves and since I have both rhubarb and roses just outside my door, decided to make it.
You simmer fruit, flowers, and sugar and watch as the mixture moves rapidly from beautiful this:
to less beautiful but still beautiful this:And then you put it in jars. Here's what Ziedrich says: "A few minutes before writing these words, I opened a six-year-old jar of rhubarb-rose preserves, and for a moment I thought that the roses were blooming in the garden. These preserves can raise you out of midwinter blues into happy plans for spring."
Our garden is basically a catastrophe this year -- it was an unhappy spring -- but the six rhubarb seeds I planted in the happy spring of 2009 have grown to a lush, waist-high forest. Some people say you should wait until year three to harvest rhubarb, but the stalks are so abundant and thick that I pulled a few anyway. This is the leaf from a single stalk, with a big, fat hardcover book for scale:
Bloggers are always coming up with contests. What contest should I set up so I can send the winner a jar of this jam?