My Friend Margaret

In remembrance and tribute to a remarkable woman – my dear friend Margaret.  Margaret passed away a few days ago after a courageous battle with cancer.  I met her about 16 years ago when I was invited to join a neighborhood Bible study.  We spent a lot of Tuesday mornings together in the past decade and a half!  Margaret was a very talented, creative and generous person.  One of her joys was cooking and baking for people she loved and she was very good at it!  The following recipe is the only one I have of hers that’s written down.  She was a free-spirit kind of cook, “let’s see what’s in the  fridge or cupboard to add and make this better”, recipes weren’t always necessary!  So, here’s to Margaret, she of blessed memory, until we see her again in the very sweet hereafter.

This is best using the first tender new shoots of rhubarb, a taste of spring after a hard winter.  This is not a law-fat recipe, as you will see, but for today, that’s okay.  Here’s the recipe, just as it was given to me originally.

Margaret’s Rhubarb Muffins

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup butter or margarine

1 cup sour cream

2 cups flour

1 tsp soda

pinch of salt

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Topping:

1/2 cup white sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp butter

Cream together butter and sugar, gradually adding sour cream, mix well.  Blend together flour, soda and salt and add in 2-3 additions to creamed butter, stirring well after each addition. Fold in chopped rhubarb and walnuts.  Fill large cupcake papers 2/3 full of the batter.  Sprinkle each cupcake with a little bit of the sugar and cinnamon mixture.  Bake at 375 F for about 18 minutes.

 

Me, Mary and Margaret, summer of 2006

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Farm Memories – Saskatoon Rhubarb Jam

When I was a kid growing up on the family farm, the fence line we shared with the neighbors contained a goodly number of saskatoon trees.  My creative and inventive Mom concocted this recipe to use an abundance of rhubarb and saskatoon berries (two prairie staples!).  It has become my most favorite jam of all.  Now on our little city “acre”,  Don has carefully cultivated 4 berry trees, well, actually 1 tree and 3 bushes.  This didn’t seem like it would be a particularly abundant year,  but there should be enough for a another batch of jam, and we’re hoping for a couple of pies!  The blue jays that frequent our yard also enjoy the berries, although they don’t bother making jam.  Bon Appetit –  your morning toast should be so lucky to have a lick of this tasty treat!

Saskatoon Rhubarb Jam

6 cups saskatoons

6 cups rhubarb, chopped finely

1 ½ cups water

1 pkg. pectin (I use liquid Certo)

5 cups sugar

In a large pot, simmer together the rhubarb and ¾ cup of the water.  Stir often and when completely soft, mash with a potato masher.  Meanwhile, blend together the saskatoons and ¾ cup water.  Add the saskatoons to the rhubarb and cook together for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the sugar and mix well.  Turn up the heat and boil and add Certo according to the directions for jam in the Certo package.  Makes 8 – 10 small jars of jam.  Note:  Saskatoons have  a  high natural pectin content, so when you blend the berries, they will begin to gel immediately.   You will have to mash them up to get them to combine with the rhubarb.

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