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Rhubarb Strawberry Jam 

It was spring of 2008, the strawberries were gorgeous and cheap at the farmers market, and I got carried away. When I came back to my senses, I was walking home with an entire flat—nearly 10 pounds—of strawberries. I realized there was no way to use them all before they spoiled, and I remembered my Tennessee grandmother’s strawberry jam. She was gone by then, and I didn’t have her recipe, but I was a confident cook. So I went into the kitchen with a box of powdered pectin and a bucket of sugar and finished hours later inedible candied mess.

I spent the rest of that year learning the basics of how to preserve—not just jam, but also pickles, relishes, boozy fruit, sauces, canned tomatoes, and all the rest. The next year I became certified as a master food preserver through the University of California Cooperative Extension. I started a blog, Saving The Season, to document my ongoing experiments. And eventually I wrote a cookbook called Saving the Season: A Cook’s Guide to Home Canning, Pickling, and Preserving. Since then, I’ve taught preserving around the country, including regular stints at the Institute of Domestic Technology in Los Angeles and guest lectures at the Culinary Institute of America and the International Culinary Center.

Lessons Learned from Years of Canning

Seven years and nearly 4,000 jars later, my big takeaway is that home canning is easy, simple, cost effective, and deeply pleasurable. The prime goal of my book and teaching is to encourage people to add a little preserving to their kitchen life. Almost any home cook already has the skill and the equipment to start—home canning is just home cooking by another name.

When I was growing up in the South, households across the social spectrum would “put up” a few preserves every summer: canned tomatoes, bread-and-butter pickles, chow chow relish, peach preserves, wild blackberry jam. For most people, home canning had less to do with absolute necessity than with taste and tradition. I would compare it to baking a pie from scratch: you may not do it every day or every week, but for people who like to be in the kitchen, it’s a great way to spend an occasional Saturday afternoon. And unlike with a pie, you’ll enjoy the results of your home canning work for weeks and months to come.

In later posts for this series, Home Canning 101, I’ll explore single topics including: food safety and botulism, proper canning techniques, pickling, fermenting, the role of sugar in sweet preserves, pectin, preserving with alcohol, pressure canning, large-batch projects, marmalade, and much more.

But this first post is to get you going if you’re a canning novice, or to get you back into it if you’re feeling rusty. And for that, there’s no better entry point that basic jam.

Homemade Jam-Making Basics

I call this a Universal Jam Recipe because it works with any fruit (other than citrus, which is a somewhat different beast). You can make jam with whatever grows well where you live. Now, in May and June, strawberries and rhubarb are available in much of the country; California already has cherries and early stone fruit.

This same basic recipe will also carry you through the rest of the canning year with only minor adjustments. The results are modestly sweet and balanced with freshly squeezed lemon juice. In every season, use the best fruit you can find. “Good fruit makes good jam,” is my first rule of jamming.

My second rule is to work in small batches. Three pounds of fruit will yield something like 2 ½ pints of jam, give or take. If you want more jars, make two small batches rather than one double batch. I promise the results will be nearly as fast, and the quality will be superior.

Also, for now don’t worry about canning your jam—that is, you don’t need to process the sealed jars in a boiling water bath. Just store the jam in the refrigerator, where it will last for weeks.

Later I’ll get into safe canning techniques. I’ll also cover botulism in depth, but for now, rest assured that homemade jam won’t kill your friends and family. In briefest terms, jam made from almost all familiar fruit is classed among the “high-acid foods,” which are not susceptible to the risk of botulism. Acidity is a silver bullet against botulism. The only way to hurt someone with a jar of jam is to hit him in the head with it.

Fruit jam obviously has a natural home on breakfast toast, pancakes, pound cake, and ice cream. But also consider using jam on the savory plate—similar to how we use cranberry jelly with turkey. A dab of peach or apricot jam is delicious with pork, for instance, while cherry jam and plum jam goes well with cheese.

Rustic Photo of Homemade Jam 

Universal Jam Recipe

Yields about 2-1/2 pints

• 3 pounds prime, just-ripe fruit, such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries, peaches, plums, etc.
• 2-1/2 cups sugar, or adjust as explained below
• 1 lemon

1. Clean and cut the fruit as you would for making fruit salad or fruit pie. For example: remove the caps from strawberries, and cut into quarters; or peel and pit peaches, and slice into pieces; or trim rhubarb and chop it into chunks.

2. Using a potato masher or your own clean hand, crush the fruit until soupy. Measure this puree, and note the quantity. You’ll probably have about 5 cups, but expect some variation depending on the fruit. Put the puree in a wide, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive pot. The puree should be no more than 1 inch deep in the bottom of the pot.

3. For every two cups of fruit puree, add to the pot one scant cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. Stir to combine, and taste. Very tart fruit (such as sour cherries or some plums) might need a little more sugar. Very sweet fruit (such as white peaches) might need a little more lemon juice. Adjust to taste.

4. Bring the fruit-sugar mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. After it boils, continue to cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for 12 to 14 minutes, or until thickened. Check the consistency by turning off the heat and putting a spoonful of hot jam on a chilled saucer in the freezer for one minute. When ready, the cold jam will form a light skin that wrinkles when you push your finger through it, and it will cling to the saucer when you tilt the saucer upright. If the cold jam is too runny, bring the pot back to a boil for another minute or two, stirring constantly, then check the set again.

4. When the jam is thickened to your liking, ladle it into clean half-pint jars or other air-tight containers. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Next up in Home Canning 101: the Universal Pickle Recipe.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



I was joking with my husband the other day that if I had my own restaurant, I’d call it Lime. Everything on the menu would either contain or be served with limes: margaritas, mojitos, small plates from a variety of cuisines--anything where lime comes out to play. Central to the dessert menu would be this incredibly versatile, undeniably delicious, homemade lime curd.

Spooned over ice cream, slathered over a slice of warm brioche, or used as a filling for tarts, cupcakes, layer cakes, or meringues, this oozing mixture of sugar, limes, eggs, and butter adds a bright, fresh acidity and craveable sweetness to anything it touches.

Lime zest is processed with the sugar for an explosion of lime flavor, freckling the finished product with fragrant flecks of green.  A hint of coconut rum or vanilla adds a bit of complexity.

Be sure to mix the lime-sugar, eggs, and yolks together very thoroughly before adding the lime juice. This promotes a smoother, more luscious curd by preventing the acid in the juice from coagulating the protein in the eggs too quickly.

A thicker curd for piping into cupcakes and spreading between layers of cake will require a few more minutes of cooking, while a thinner curd for folding into whipped cream or topping ice cream will require fewer. Yield: about 2 cups lime curd.

Homemade Lime Curd



• 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
• Zest of 4 limes (avoid the white, pithy parts)
• 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
• 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
• 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 1 stick (8 T or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces
• 1 tsp coconut rum (or pure vanilla extract)


1. Process the lime zest with the sugar in the food processor for about 3 minutes or until very thoroughly mixed.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, thoroughly whisk together the sugar, eggs, and yolks. Whisk in the lime juice and salt and place over med-low heat. Add the butter 1 piece at a time, slowly whisking as each one completely melts into the mixture before adding the next. Switch out the whisk for a rubber spatula, and continue to cook over med-low heat, stirring gently but consistently until the mixture has thickened enough to leave a momentary trail in the bottom of the pan when you run your spatula through the center—the mixture should part just long enough for you to see the metal of the pan as the spatula scrapes the bottom, but it will run back together fairly quickly. This will take about 15 minutes.

3. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the rum or vanilla, and allow to cool completely, stirring occasionally, before transferring to an airtight container. Store in the fridge until ready to use, up to three days.

Morgan Crumm is a mother, blogger, recipe-developer, and real-food advocate based in Dallas, Texas. More of her work can be found at Being The Secret Ingredient, a blog about food, life, and love.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


It seems as though everyone has at least a passing dream of selling at a farmers’ market. From backyard tomatoes, to foraged wild morels, to grandma’s incredible pound cake recipe, the possibilities often appear endless. My own journey started in 1990, when at age 16 I shuttled eggs each weekend to my local market in Shepherdstown, WV from our family’s flock. More than twenty years later, I’ve filled out nearly every application known to man, received dozens of different health department permits, and attended perhaps twenty different markets over my career. Each and every experience has been different, which makes the following question almost impossible to answer:

“Excuse me,” a bright-eyed young woman politely asked a few weeks back, stopping by my market stand. “I make banana bread, and I want to sell at this market. Do I just bring a table and set up or… umm, well… how do farmers’ markets work, exactly?”

Great question. How does it work, exactly?



Learn When the Annual Meeting Takes Place, Get Your Application In Well Ahead of Time

Once spring arrives, everyone gets excited about farmers’ markets. But the real planning starts far earlier, back in December and January. This is when the market meetings usually take place, months in advance of the start of market. Applications are reviewed then, too, so if you’d like to attend your local market, get your ducks (or potatoes) in a row by January, not June.

Identify A Need

Whether it’s run by your local government, a not-for-profit volunteer, or a professional manager, all great markets have one thing in common: they are run as serious businesses. How much planning and coordination does it take to block off a city street, select a diverse candidate pool of farmers, provide ample parking, restroom facilities, weekly marketing etc.? Most markets take several years to conceptualize, and several more years afterwards to grow into successes. If you have a bustling weekend market in your neighborhood, rest assured that it’s no accident.

Be sure to treat your own enterprise with the same degree of professionalism, starting with Business 101: Identifying your market. Does your local market really need more tomatoes, or could it use a seasonal variety of fresh berries? Speaking of those tomatoes, what happens come late summer, when the entire planet seems overrun with tomatoes? Look around… is anyone offering jarred tomato sauce, or salsa, or value-added products (vegetarian chili? sun-dried tomatoes?) to sell during the winter months?

Identifying a real need, not just what you think the market might want, will greatly increase your chances of acceptance. And to do this, you should…

Visit the Market as a Shopper, Over and Over Again

The best way to identify a need is to visit your local market, and shop there. Show up week after week, month after month. After all, you’re planning to attend as a vendor, right? You should become intimately familiar with your new business setting. And yes, that means showing up in the rain, heat, and even snow. After all, if you can’t make the effort to show up, why would your customers? Committing to this habit will not only build familiarity, but show your dedication to your fellow vendors and the market manager. Which leads me to my next point…

Get to Know the Market Manager, and Pitch Your Idea to Them

The one person who might hold a stronger bit of influence as to your acceptance into market is the manager. Seek this person out, and ask them for advice. Take them out for coffee mid-week, and inquire what products the market could use. Learn how you could help. After all, it’s always better to…

Make Friends, Not Grouchy Neighbors

Okay, so you’ve got a fig tree in your backyard, and for a few weeks summer it’s loaded with fresh, ripe fruit. There’s no harm in just picking a few dozen pints and selling it for a dollar or two at market, right? After all, it would just go to waste otherwise.

Not so fast, my figgy friend. Please be respectful, and at least check-in with your fellow farmers before doing this. Chances are, whether it’s fruit, vegetables or whatever else you might grow “in the backyard”, there’s a farmer who’s staked his or her entire growing season on that very same crop. At a minimum, don’t undercut your fellow producer just because you’ve got extra rhubarb for a week or two each summer. It’s not only rude, but wide discrepancies in pricing can be terribly confusing to the customers as well.

Full-time producers run their operation like a business, not a hobby. And finally…

Want to know more? Check out my book, Gaining Ground: A Story Of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, And Saving the Family Farm, filled with hilarious mistakes (and the occasional triumph!) I made on my own farmers’ market journey.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more javascript:void(0);about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


Last year was the very first year we went strawberry picking. It was a no-brainer this year. We had to go strawberry picking at Messick's Farm again this year. And then when we discovered that they were running a special of buy two-gallons get one free, we were on it!

When we got home with this years pick, I instantly knew what I would make first -- strawberry jam. Last year I wanted to make it so badly, but never had a chance to make anything but a quick strawberry jamy-syrup topping for ice cream. This year, it was much different.

There was some amazing, yummy goodness going on in my kitchen the other day and I just have to share the recipe with you.

This is a recipe that is found all across the internet, in cookbooks, and in your grandmas memory. It is quick and easy, and not to mention, very simple. It has been tried and tested for years, and it's about time you put it to test for yourself.

Homemade Strawberry Jam

• 2 quarts of fresh strawberries (de-stemmed and sliced in half)
• 1/3 to 1/2 cup fruit pectin (depending on your preference of thickness, 1/3 is normally fine.)
• 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
• 1 tsp butter
• 7 cups refined sugar (organic cane juice works too)

Before you begin

Whenever making jam, you want to make sure that you have all of your utensils and ingredients together before you begin. All jars need to be sterilized and set aside before starting your jam. Make sure you have jars, lids, a ladle, and a jar funnel for pouring the jam into your jars. Have all of this ready before proceeding to make the jam.

1. Measure 2 quarts (I just use quart jars) of de-stemmed and sliced strawberries into a large bowl.

2. Smash strawberries to break into smaller pieces and to release juice from the berry. If you prefer not to have larger chunks in your jam, then you'll need to pulse your berries in a food processor a few times.

3. Pour crushed berries into a large (6 qt +) pan. 

4. Add pectin, butter and lemon juice to crushed berries.

5. Bring to a boil over medium high heat -- stirring constantly. Do not allow it to scorch on the bottom.

6. Pour in pre-measured sugar until it is completely dissolved. Stir constantly.

7. Bring mixture back up to a boil that cannot be stirred down, stir constantly for 2 minutes while it boils. Make sure you are careful and do not burn yourself! Boiling jam is extremely sticky and painful!

8. After 2 minutes, immediately remove from heat and immediately skim off what little foam may be on top of jam.

9. Quickly ladle into jars, cap with lid and ring. Do not tighten too hard — fingertip tightening. 

10. Over the next few hours your jars will begin to seal themselves. They will last in your pantry for well over a year or more. 

11. If any of your jars do not seal, remove the lid, replace with new lid, and place in a hot water bath canner for 20 mins.

-- Don't want to use commercial fruit pectin? Try making your own! Click here to find out how.

Amy Fewell is a work-at-home mom, homesteader, blogger, photographer and writer. She and her family live on a mini-homestead in Virginia where they raise heritage breed chickens, standard Rex rabbits, ducks and more! For more information about their homestead, visit them online at The Fewell Homestead.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


pretzel rolls 

Pretzel rolls, or buns, are the cool kids of the bread world right now. Not only are pretzel rolls popping up in artisan bakeries, they can now be found on restaurant menus everywhere. It seems like everyone has their own specialty served on a pretzel roll, from gourmet burgers to fast food fare.

So I thought it was time I got in on the trend. After all, I love homemade pretzels so pretzel rolls would be good too, right? Right. The whole family was coming over for Mother’s Day, making it the perfect time to try out my recipe. If you can’t experiment with family, when can you experiment! We didn’t have burgers, but sandwiches worked just as well. Naturally I didn’t want just any old pretzel recipe, so I adapted this Sourdough Pretzel Recipe from a previous post. The rolls were soft and chewy, tangy and substantial. Yes, they took a little more time than everyday rolls, but I will definitely make them again.

Make Your Own Sourdough Starter

Make your own sourdough starter by using the method I prefer, found on my website Make Your Own Sourdough Starter. Or follow the methods found in earlier Mother Earth News articles, including Creating Homemade Sourdough Bread From a Starter Mix, and a previous blog post, A Beginner’s Guide to Sourdough. It’s hard to completely fail with sourdough, so use the method that appeals most to you. I used a Rye Starter for this particular recipe but it isn’t absolutely necessary. Learn How to Make a Rye Sourdough Starter.

Prepare Sourdough Pretzel Dough

Start by mixing the following ingredients in a large bowl or the bowl to your stand mixer. Because this dough is fairly dry, it will easier to prepare using a stand mixer. However, it can be expertly prepared using only your own muscle power, and is excellent exercise!


• 1 cup rye sourdough starter
• 1 tsp salt
• 2 tbsp malted barley powder or sugar
• 2 tsp instant dry yeast
• 1½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
• 2 cups bread flour
• 1 tbsp melted butter
• ¾ to 1 cup warm, not hot, water

Baking The Pretzel Rolls

1. Mix all ingredients to combine. Knead by hand until smooth and elastic, about 15 minutes, or using a stand mixer for 8 - 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled, about 2 hours.

2. Gently deflate dough. Cut into 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball. Set on a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise 30 – 45 minutes or until puffy.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrengeit. Fill a large saucepan or Dutch oven about half full of water and bring to a boil. Carefully add ½ cup baking soda to the boiling water.

4. Gently drop rolls into the water, no more than 2-3 at a time. Simmer about 30 seconds, turn and simmer an additional 30 seconds. Remove rolls with a slotted spoon and return to the baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining rolls.

5. Score the tops of the rolls if desired. Rolls may also be sprinkled with flake salt or poppy seeds. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Let rolls cool for at least 15 minutes before eating. Using a sourdough starter will help keep the rolls fresh for a day or two, but like most rolls these are best served the same day they are baked.

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 


Outdoor Cooking Big Green EggIt is that Green time of year again, and I am not thinking about gardening (well, OK, I am), or painting or anything else that might come to mind that is Green. In this specific case, I am thinking of the Big Green Egg. This marvel of Japanese and American engineering is a multi-functional cooking device, about three all wrapped up in one large green, dimpled device. “Tis the season,” as they say, for outdoor cooking in all its glory.

It could well be that you have never heard of the Big Green Egg, a lot of folks haven’t, so this is where this blog comes in. In fact, Eggheads, as we are known, have become a bit of a phenomenon around the world. They are quite popular in Africa and the Netherlands, for example.

Big Green Eggs originated in Japan, a number of centuries ago, and at that time they were called Kamado cookers. They were large, jar-like ceramic “ovens” that the Japanese used to cook with. The original Kamados were subject eventually to breakage, a problem solved by good old-fashioned American engineering, in this case, space shuttle technology. The folks at Big Green Egg (really, you have to go to their website at worked on the ceramics until they got it perfect. They still continue to experiment tweaking this and that, in the pursuit of an ever better Egg.

How a Big Green Egg Works

So, you may reasonably ask, how do these things work? If you can run a woodstove, you can do an Egg. If you don’t have a wood stove, do not worry. It is easy enough to get the hang of with some practice. The firebox is in the bottom chamber, which is where you put lump charcoal; I use one of those electric fire starters to get the charcoal started. It doesn’t take long, and I have been known to get the Egg fired up in ten to fifteen minutes.

Now, having said all of this, be prepared for serious heat, and if you do not watch your Egg, it can easily shoot up to 700 degrees F. Yes. I find I run mine much lower, maybe 450 to 500 for pizzas, etc. Obviously, if you are doing a cake or something along that line you want a lower temperature.

Also be careful about opening your Egg anytime it’s over 400, as it gets a blast of oxygen, and can woof at you, or singe your eyebrows. It has never singed mine, but I know someone that is has.

The Art of Cooking with a Big Green Egg

You may also seriously ask, why all this to make a steak? That is where the art comes in. It is not just that you flap a steak on, cook it and eat. That is the goal, mind you, but it is how you get there that is important. It is what you cook your steak with, the seasonings involved, but at the end of the day, it is the taste. A truly perfect steak with that charcoal smoke taste is unbeatable. You can also do whole chickens or turkeys, seafood, anything that grills or bakes.

It is also not all about the BBQ, as it can also be used as a smoker, and as I use it regularly, an outdoor (charcoal) fired oven. Does that smoke go with your chocolate cake? Yes! And your cinnamon buns? Absolutely. Pizza is where it is king, but so are breads like baguettes and various loaves. In fact, I strive to make a complete meal on the Egg, with appetizers, the main course, and dessert all done one after the other (I recommend you start with dessert first, not a bad way to go, eh?).

I must confess, the first time I saw an Egg, I thought it was the most ugly thing I had ever seen. Still, my butcher Roger convinced me, it is THE way to go, his only regret being he did not buy a bigger one. Taking that advice, I bought the Large (he has a medium). I understand they now have a double extra-large. Hallelujah!

Feel free to contact me if you would like instruction on the Egg, or any other baking/ cooking instruction at Or email me at Come visit me, you get to eat what you make!

You can also follow my further adventures on Facebook and more blogs at
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



Rhubarb is a confusing plant. It looks like a vegetable, but is cooked as a fruit. Tasted alone, it is unbearably bitter. So where does rhubarb fall in the botanical spectrum? The origin is traced over 2,000 years ago to Asia where it was initially cultivated for medicinal qualities.[1] In China, the roots were dried and pulverized to treat ailments, while the plant was commonly used as a laxative to treat indigestion.[2] The medicinal use for rhubarb continued in Europe until it was discovered that the petioles (leafstalks) were edible and even tasty when cooked properly.

In the 19th century, the Victoria variety caught the British by storm. It was easy to grow, consistently tender, and reliable.[3] The obsession began. Rhubarb was used for jam, jellies, pies, custards, puddings, and fools (see below for Rhubarb Fool). It wasn’t long until rhubarb made its way across the Atlantic. 

Established as a vegetable, from the genus Rheum, rhubarb was reclassified by US custom officials in the 1940s as a fruit, under the auspice that it should be categorized according to consumption. In actuality, the change took advantage of lower tax rates and shipping laws. Interestingly, rhubarb is still classified as a fruit in the United States today.

The classification of rhubarb as fruit or vegetable is less important than taking advantage of its spring flavor. The season is short, and time should not be wasted on debates. Rhubarb is a treat to be savored, and I have been working on a variety of recipes to use it in both respects—as fruit and vegetable. 

Fruit Oriented Rhubarb Recipes

Pies, tarts, and crisps are rhubarb classics. This year, I’m attempting to be inventive with rhubarb to consume less sugar. One of the most balanced dessert recipes that I have discovered is Rhubarb Fool, a throwback from 1830s Britain. 

Rhubarb Fool Recipe


• 2-1/4 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
• 1-1/4 cups sugar (or less depending on taste)
• 2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
• 1/2 cup whipping cream


1. Combine rhubarb and sugar in a large saucepot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until mixture has consistency of apple sauce (6-8 minutes) while stirring occasionally. Chill the mixture for about one hour.

2. Fold rhubarb mixture into the yogurt and swirl in the whipping cream. Cover and refrigerate for 1-6 hours. 

Vegetable Oriented Rhubarb Recipes

Finding alternative (non-sweet) uses for rhubarb has proven challenging. I look forward to experimenting in the next few weeks and adding to my repertoire. I love rhubarb pie and sweet treats, but seriously, there must be other ways to consume this vegetable (dare I even say it). In this search, I have discovered an interesting Middle Eastern spinoff recipe for lentils (dal) and rhubarb from Mark Bittman. The rhubarb adds a lemony zest and fleshy texture to the stew.


Dal & Rhubarb


• 1 cup dried lentils
• 2 tbsp minced ginger
• 1 tbsp minced garlic
• 4 cardamom pods
• 1 tbsp mustard seed
• 2 cloves
• 1 tsp cracked black pepper
• add salt to taste
• 2 tbsp butter (optional)
• garnish with cilantro
• 3 or 4 stalks of rhubarb, strings removed and chopped


1. Combine all ingredients except salt, butter, and cilantro in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Adjust heat so mixture bubbles gently, cover partially and cook while stirring occasionally. Add water as needed and cook until lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Lentils should be saucy, not soupy.

2. Remove cloves and cardamom pods. Stir in butter if using, adjust seasoning and garnish with cilantro. 

Drinkable Rhubarb Recipe Ideas

Rhubarb can be infused with alcohol or made into simple syrups for mixers. Again, more sugar! The simplest infusion that I enjoy is fresh-diced rhubarb in water. Freeze slices of rhubarb to add to summer lemonades, tea, or water for a refreshing treat.



[1] The Rhubarb Compendium

[2] Rhubarb Information

[3] Rhubarb: A Love Affair

All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.

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