For some reason, pregnancy and blogging hasn't mixed for me. It may be because my baby bump precludes me from using my laptop comfortably on my lap. Or possibly because we've been trying to get so much done every weekend — we're definitely in the nesting stage!
We've painted the baby's room and our living room/kitchen, shopped for new baby furniture, registered, and I've been trying to make food to freeze so I'm not cooking dinner so much during the week. And at the end of any of these projects, all I've wanted to do is sit down with my feet up and veg.
I did, however, manage to make a few homemade gifts for Mother's Day.
It's the kind of holiday where I think it's really nice to give a gift, but I prefer the homemade variety to something from the mall, say. This year I made cherry almond granola and rhubarb strawberry sauce, the latter of which I wanted to tell you about here.
This sauce is as easy as chopping and boiling, and it's delicious on top of vanilla ice cream or stirred into plain or vanilla yogurt (personally, I prefer it with plain yogurt since the sauce is sweet already).
It is also perfectly acceptable to eat it with a spoon out of the jar when you get home from work. And no one's watching.
Rhubarb is a wonderful, seasonal ingredient that adds a very distinct flavor to anything it's in. I love it in jams, sauces, crisps, and pies. You'll notice that I call this recipe Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce and not Strawberry Rhubarb Sauce. This is because I was aiming for rhubarb to be the featured ingredient — therefore it has a lovely, sweet tart flavor.
If you have access to a local farmer's market, I recommend buying it there. At my market, it was $2.99/lb. At Wegman's, it was $5.99/lb, and they had really wimpy, limpy stalks! It's amazing what a difference buying local can make — on taste, freshness, and price.
If your rhubarb stalks are on the bigger/thicker side like mine were, you probably want to peel some of the outer skin off. It should peel off very easily with your fingers once you've pulled it away from the stalk. If it doesn't pull easily, it's probably thin enough that you can leave it on.
Happy Mom's Day to all of the wonderful mothers out there, including my own wonderful mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother! Love you, ladies!!
Rhubarb Strawberry Sauce (makes about 7 cups)
7 1/2 cups rhubarb (about 3 lbs.), cut into approx. 1/2" cubes
2 cups strawberries (about 1/2 - 1 lb.), hulled and chopped into large chunks
3 cups sugar
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan, and cook over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring occasionally, cook until rhubarb breaks down and the sauce has thickened, 45-60 minutes. You want to make sure that sauce has set enough to where it isn't too runny. Cook a while longer if it appears to have too much liquid.
At this point, you can either transfer the sauce to a container and keep it in the fridge for about 2 weeks. Or you can also can the sauce, and sealed jars will last in your pantry for up to a year.
To can the sauce: Submerge 7-8 8 oz. canning jars, along with their lids and ring bands, in a large pot of boiling water and sterilize for 10 minutes. Transfer sterilized jars, lids, and bands to a clean dish towel. Fill each jar with the hot sauce, leaving at least 1⁄4" of space at the top. Wipe jar rims with a clean dish towel, place lids on jars, and secure the ring bands. Transfer filled jars to a canning rack, and place rack in a pot of gently boiling water so that jars have at least 1" of water covering them. Let boil for 10 minutes. Transfer jars to a dish towel and let cool undisturbed for 24 hours. To test that jars have properly sealed, unscrew bands and lift each jar by the edge of the lid; if the lid holds, the jar is sealed. If it loosens, the jar is not fully sealed and you should keep the sauce in the refrigerator.
Click here for a printable recipe!