There are stories of Baba Yaga, an archetypal Russian crone, who gathered rhubarb stocks for use in her kitchen. Rhubarb was said to bring together the energetic influences of what was being brewed. Using the stocks to stir increased the magical potential and adding a little rhubarb to preparations had a binding effect on the ingredients.
Not all jams need to be large productions. A pot of leftovers on the back burner ( with the timer set ) can give you one or two jars for immediate use that don’t even need preserving.
1 1/4 pounds of fresh rhubarb, washed and chopped
1 cup white sugar
2 tsp. grated orange zest
3/4 cup water
2 tsp. candied ginger (optional)
Begin with a deep breath to help shift your attention. Washing your hands will also help turn your focus to the task at hand. Allow the warm water to drip off your fingers and let it take all your nigglies with it. Putting on an apron also aids in separating from what was and being with what is. Invite the compassionate spirits and begin.
I used what was on hand so brought out the zest in sugar I always keep in the fridge. If you are going with a fresh orange, feel free to juice it and include the juice as part of the water requirement.
Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer for 40 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. The larger the pot, the larger area connecting directly to the heat and the shorter the cooking time will be.
Pay more attention as the jam is coming to the end of the cooking time to ensure the bottom of the jam is not burning. The water will have evaporated making the mixture thicker and more prone to sticking to the bottom.
Transfer to hot sterile jars, clean edges and seal. When cool, label.
This recipe was just enough for two medium jars.
If you have a larger family then it is really just one large jar and it can go directly onto the breakfast table with no need to take the steps to preserve it.
Store any non sealed jars in the fridge once cool.
Note: I used orange zest this time but candied and/or freshly grated ginger is also a tasty option. I was in the pantry and discovered it on a few too many labels so went with orange zest.