We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Mrs. BD asked me to fix up a batch of rhubarb compote to splash on some Haagen Dasz for a fancy dinner party we are attending tonite. My guess is that nobody there will have had it before. It's a North country treat. Lots of people do not care for it much. Their loss. It's tangy. I always use half the sugar.
We are the Rhubarb People. A racial identity group and a much-abused and/or neglected one. Maybe we all originated in Yorkshire. Who knows?
Since my own recipe for hot pepper jelly (served with cheeses and cream cheese) was such a hit at a fancy cocktail party in NYC that I have been urged to produce a line of it, I decided to branch out into Spicy Rhubarb Jam. Maggie's Farm Produce, or something. All-organic, meaning grown in pig and cow shit.
Mom always grew her sizeable patch right outside the barn. We would just pitchfork some fresh horse poop and horse straw on top of it when cleaning the barn. Worked well. A rhubarb patch likes to be fed.
A good patch takes a couple of years to establish itself. How do you harvest rhubarb? With a sharp yank on the stalk. Not with clippers.
My rhubarb plantation, stolen from my Mom's garden, is overwhelming. Had to use some more of it. We'll make some pies too (never with strawberry), but I invented my own recipe for Spicy Rhubarb Jam - chopped rhubarb, lemon juice, sugar, chopped fresh red chilis and chopped jalapenos, some chopped green peppers, a little salt, and I threw in some pectin for the heck of it. No pressure canner.
Is cooked rhubarb red? Almost never. People add food coloring but I don't bother. You only get a little red from the young thin stalks.
Yes, the jam tastes like spicy rhubarb. Quite tangy. I like it. Might be good with pork or chicken. Not sure. Definitely good with cheese especially goat cheese. Not on a toasted bagel. I am no expert food canner but I just boil the heck out of the Ball jars for about 15 minutes and hope for the best. Botulism is not wanted.
Next stop might be Spicy Cranberry Preserve. Why not? Any poultry is improved with some cranberry on the side. And for those who can enjoy a tart now and then, for dessert any little rhubarb or cranberry tart is nice.