Thursday, 17 March 2016

Spilling the Beans on Grandma's Strawberry Rhubarb Jam

There's nothing like the nostalgia of enjoying food items from your childhood. As my grandmother grew older, her 'famous' treats she made for when her far flung family visited became less frequent. In the last few years of her life they stopped completely as she had lost the joy of waking each morning and didn't have the energy (or eyesight) to continue providing these items when people visited. This really didn't matter much, as we were more interested in seeing and spending time with her rather than her back as she shuffled into the kitchen to grab yet another plate of peanut butter fudge, or oyster crackers, or whatever it was on offer even though you've told her countless times you couldn't eat anything more and didn't really want anything. Not a thing. And then the plate would arrive laden with biscuits and crackers and sweets that you found yourself eating despite your earlier protests. Partly out of politeness and partly out of, well look at it! It looks so good, how could you not?

On one of these visits I had asked my grandmother for the recipe for her strawberry jam, she pulled out a small box overstuffed with bits of papers; stained, folded and crammed together to fit in the limited space, and I found myself face to face with her acclaimed stash. I have added many of these items to my own recipe book and occasionally when I'm needing a hug like only a grandma can give, I make one of her meals and I'm thrown back to sitting in her house on a warm summer day with only the cross breeze and small fan set up in the threshold to the living room to cool us, refusing the treats on offer and eating them anyway when they appear with a knowing smile on grandma's face.


4 cups white sugar
5 cups rhubarb
1 can crushed pineapple
2 packages strawberry jello

Add all ingredients in a large pot expect for the jello packets. Let sit for 30 minutes or more.

Boil for 12 minutes or until rhubarb is cooked. 

Remove from heat and add the 2 packages of jello. Mix well.

Fill your sterilized jars  to 1/4 inch to the top (I usually fill about 6 8-oz. sized jars). 

As you can see, this is a very sweet recipe. I have yet to attempt to tamper with it to reduce the sugar, but I'm sure it can be done.
Let me know in the comments if you endeavor to make this yourself.

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