It’s that time of year when everyone is scrambling to preserve their favorite summer fruit to enjoy all year long. In the last few weeks we’ve received half a dozen varieties of berry jam from friends and neighbors. We couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon and canning our own strawberry-rhubarb jam last weekend.

Rhubarb is my husband’s favorite summer vegetable, which is more popular in Germany than in the US. When he first started buying it here, he would get puzzled looks at the checkout and had to explain what it was. It looks like red celery, but has a sharp tart flavor. When it’s cooked down with a lot of sugar and combined with a sweet fruit like strawberry, it becomes a delicious summertime treat.

Our strawberry-rhubarb jam follows this standard recipe, but has a few of unexpected twists. First, Peter substitutes half of the lemon juice with orange bitters and pours in about a 1/4 cup of white wine to give it more complexity. He also adds lemon rind while the rhubarb is being cooked down. Last, but not least, a teaspoon of pepper gives it a nice kick at the end. A little something for all the taste buds!

After my husband makes the jam, my job is to make them pretty. I love the Kitchen Collage labels by Galison and use them on practically everything gifted from our kitchen. I cut out circles of gingham fabric with pinking shears, tie them on with kitchen twine, and they are ready to go!

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