Clumber Park

So I mailed a box to the US today for my son Sean.  Since he has two dogs I always get him a Fathers Day gift.  In this case a box full of cool t-shirts (Hard Rock Cafe and England Football team!) and several bags of Haribo’s since they are his favorite and he can’t find a good assortment in Georgia.  It literally cost twice as much to mail as it did to purchase the items in it. Enjoy the Haribo’s Sean!  They are worth their weight in gold.

Tomorrow morning we are off to Clumber Park.  Tony has been talking about going there since we first started dating and we are finally making it a priority.  Devon is coming along and possibly Tom if we can bribe and/or threaten him (Tony’s daughter and son).  We are doing the 4 mile walk around the lake and hopefully will squeeze in some time to visit the Walled Kitchen Garden.  I am determined that someday I will have a walled garden.  There is something about a space being enclosed that makes it seem like a treasure box.  Anyway, Clumber Park grows over 100 varieties of Rhubard.  So in celebration of that fact and because of Tony’s last post, here is my recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb jam.

 

4 cups strawberries hulled but left whole

3 stalks rhubarb, chopped about 2 cm thick (or 1″)

5 cups sugar (6 if using American cups)

Juice of 1 lemon

 

Put strawberries in a large cooking pan and pour the sugar over.  Partially mash with a potato masher, leaving some berries whole and let sit for an hour or so until the sugar is dissolved and you have a nice juice.  Add the rhubarb and lemon juice and heat, stirring frequently until jam comes to a light boil then turn the heat down to a slow steady simmer.  At that point stir even more frequently (supposedly continuously but who really does that) until the temp is 104 celsius or when you place a dollop on a chilled plate it firms up and behaves like jam when you tilt the plate. Pour into sterilized canning jars (2 of the pint size or the equivalent in the UK).  If you are not using right away then tighten the lid on and process for 10 to 15 minutes in boiling water.  If you are using, allow to cool, place the lid on and keep in the fridge.  It usually lasts about 6 weeks.

TIPS: 1) If it comes to a full boil it will get a pink scum on top.  You can skim off or you can leave.  If you leave, when you can it there will be air bubbles in the surface of the jam. 2) Use a stainless steel cooking pot, wooden utensils and have tongs and a canning funnel handy to make it easier.

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