Normally it would be another month before I even started thinking about harvesting rhubarb. But I am unsure if it is from our unseasonably warm weather early in the spring, lots of rainfall or that couple buckets of rabbit poop fertilizer but the rhubarb was getting huge. So large that I was starting to worry about the stalks getting too big and woody. It was looking like Sequoia instead of rhubarb ! So I cut the first stalks of the 2012 season. You just twist them off at the ground level and cut off the leaves because they are poisonous. You can use the leaves to make an insect spray for your garden to kill the bugs.
I then trimmed and washed the stalks.
Before anyone asks..... yes I have green rhubarb. My rhubarb does not get red. My start was given to me by a local farmer and I am unsure of the variety but only an occasional pink tinge can be found at ground level. It tastes great though.
Once cleaned it is cut into about 1 inch pieces.
If you would like to follow along the recipe can be found in the Ball Blue Book 100th Anniversary Edition page 21.
For each quart rhubarb pieces add 1/2 to 1 cup sugar in large sauce pan.
Stir to coat all rhubarb with sugar. Cover and let sit for 3 to 4 hours in a cool place.
After 4 hours the rhubarb will look like this with all the sugar melted and juice standing in the bottom of the pot. Stir well and put pot on stove and slowly bring to boil and boil for 30 seconds. As it boils it will continue to make a syrup or juice.
Ladle hot rhubarb and syrup into hot sterile canning jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace.
Remove air bubbles.
Place hot two piece caps on hot jars and tighten.
Process pints and quarts 15 minutes in a hot boiling water canner.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cool the lids should pull down to seal the jar. Remove rings and wipe jar clean with a warm soapy dishcloth. Label jar with contents and date and store in a cool dry pantry. These may be used for pies, pastries, cobblers and sauces. They are great mixed with strawberries or raspberries.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter