Want to go directly to the jam recipe? click here to skip to the recipe for this rhubarb jam with juniper berries!
So, I’ve been thinking.
I’ve been single for…. well, it’s been a long time. That’s one way to put it. And while I have days when I actually take the time to put together a meal for myself, for the most part, my goal is just to get food into my belly. Those days where I spend proper meal-prep time in the kitchen are few and far between. It’s rather pathetic. After doing lots of recipe testing for two upcoming cookbooks, which were also two reasons to make myself proper food, I noticed that most of the recipes were for foods and dishes that I had cooked for myself at some point, but never again. It’s like somewhere along the way, I lost that motivation to make myself a proper meal. I’m sorry. That probably sounds a bit sad, doesn’t it?
And to be honest, if it weren’t for my Instagram account, my meals would probably consist of all sorts of junk and nibbles, with a side of homemade cake and cookies. It’s funny, but Instagram has actually forced me to put more effort and more thought into cooking for myself, so I am thankful for that. Some people use Instagram to chronicle their pets or their children. I guess that I use it as a way to get me motivated to cook something that’s not a microwaved bowl of oatmeal with a side of fruit and nuts. Is that weird?
OK, fine, I do Instagram yogurt and cereal A LOT! And sometimes, it’s cereal on top of yogurt…
Friday, I made my first lasagna in 3 years! Three years! And I haven’t avoided lasagna-making because it’s hard. Lasagna isn’t difficult. It just takes time. It takes effort. And I guess at a certain point, I’ve started to feel like because it’s just me, why bother? Why spend an hour making myself a lasagna when I could just fry up an egg or two and eat it with toast. And why spend an hour if it’s going to take me 5 minutes to ingest it because eating alone is like an Olympic race?
As I stirred my rhubarb juniper jam, these were the thoughts that crossed my mind. See, I spend a lot of time thinking up recipes, working and baking for this blog. But I hardly ever do that just for me. It’s odd. The only time I really, selfishly make a recipe for me is when I make jam. I’ve made a fair bit of jam over the years, with different ingredients like apricot, jalapeño, apple, plum… Because I love jam and I wish jam were a food group so that I could better justify my jam consumption. I made this jam for me because I think rhubarb jam is the best, and in my head, rhubarb and juniper berries make sense together. So I just went for it because if there’s one thing I deserve to give myself, if I can’t always manage to make myself a home-cooked meal, it’s jars and jars of sweet, homemade jam.
Rhubarb jam with juniper berries recipe
Rhubarb & juniper berry jam
This rhubarb jam is flavoured with juniper berries for a beautiful way of preserving rhubarb. This way you can enjoy this rhubarb jam throughout the year.
- 860 g rhubarb about 8 to 9 stalks, chopped
- 750 g granulated sugar 3 3/4 cups
- 1.5 tsp juniper berries about 40 of them or 4 g, roughly chopped
- Have 4- or 5-250 mL jars and lids sterilized before hand. Keep the jars in a low heat oven and the lids in a small saucepan of simmering water.
- Combine all the ingredients in a large, deep pot. Cook the jam on medium–high to first dissolve the sugar and then boil.
- Skim the jam to remove foam as needed with a metal spoon. The jam will bubble up high in the pot and then eventually settle again. Continue cooking the jam until it reaches about 220ºF (the jam setting point).
- Divide the jam among the jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, wipe the rims clean, then cover with the lids, fingertight. If any of the jars aren't filled full, don't seal them. Instead you can cover them and enjoy them right away, storing in the fridge.
Seal the closed jars according to the manufacturers recommendations. I used Bernardin jars and I boiled my jam jars for 10 minutes to seal them.
- Let sit 24 hours undisturbed before storing them in the pantry.
- Calories calculated for a 1 tbsp serving of jam