I looked up several recipes in books and on the web and this is the one I decided to go for - it seemed the simplest. As usual I did not have all the ingredients they listed and I was not going to make a 16 mile round trip into town to get fresh or crystalised ginger so I improvised!
I did have a jar of Chinese Ginger preserved in syrup. Unopened but three years past its 'use by' date.
In the olden days when I was young, we didn't have use by dates. If it was preserved in any way it lasted for years. You sniffed the milk and butter etc to see if it was off, and cut the mould off cheese and used the rest of it.
I can hear some of you youngsters groaning already. But you buy cheeses that have been left to mature and mould for years and they cut the mould off in some cases and in others the mould runs through it!
So I took the lid off - well strong man did I could't move it. It looked and smelt divine - so that is what I used. But I have printed the 'proper' way to do it.
Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
1kg (2lb 4oz) trimmed Rhubarb, chopped
1kg (2lb 4oz) Sugar
600ml (1 pint) Water
100g (4oz) Crystallised Ginger, chopped
25g (1oz) Root Ginger
2 Small Lemons, juice only
1. Mix the chopped rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a large bowl and leave overnight.
2. Bash the root ginger to break the root up a bit and tie in a muslin bag. Put the rhubarb mixture and the ginger muslin bag in a heavy pan and boil rapidly for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the root ginger bag, add the preserved ginger and boil again until the rhubarb is clear. (It was at this point that I added 100grms (4ozs) of chopped up chinese ginger as I had neither fresh root ginger or crystalised ginger)
4. Test for a set by leaving a small amount of the jam mix on a cold plate. If it wrinkles when you push your finger through it then it's ready.
5. Skim the surface of the jam with a slotted spoon (you can add a teaspoon or two of unsalted butter and stir that will get rid of the scum at this point).
Pot and seal in sterilised jars.
It was a bit difficult to capture the wonderful deep pink colour and marbelling that the rhubarb made - with the different colours of the stems. The photos do not do it justice.
It made just over three pounds of jam. I have never tasted rhubarb and ginger jam before and I was really surprised. It has a delicate taste with a nice warm undertone of ginger. Not over powering at all. I am definitely going to make more batches, and it was so easy.
Whilst all this was going on, I also had to cook Sunday lunch. My husband always asks me each evening what we are having for dinner the next day. I just tell him to get something out of the freezer and I will cook it.
Today I was presented with stewing steak - organic beef of course.
So I cubed it, browned it off, added brown onions, home made stock, passata, my dried mushrooms and a couple of pinches of mixed herbs. Left it to cook on a slow heat for a couple of hours, and it was melt in the mouth tender. We had mashed pototoes with skins on of course, home grown peas, french beans, and carrots, and settle down to watch Watford beat Leeds in the play off final.
Well I watched the first half then came in here to type these pages up for you!
Off to watch the Chelsea Flower Show