Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Rhubarb-Banana Experiment

On Friday I was gifted with 2 kilos of rhubarb. Though I'v already made rhubarb jelly and rhubarb-strawberry jam two weeks ago, (after using about 1/2 kilo for a yummy cake) I decided again to make jam. But what to use to compliment the rhubarb flavor? I decided to try bananas and lemon juice/zest.
The result ... hmmmmmm, loving it!

As I made it up as I went, here my first attempt to write a recipe.

You need:
600-750 gr rhubarb
half again water
500 sugar for jams 1:2
3 bananas (depending on the ripeness - mine were just about ripe)
1 lemon (bio)
5 gr lemon acid

Clean the rhubarb and cut it into small pieces. Cook with water for 20 minutes, then filter through a kitchen towel. Your aim is to get about 500ml of juice. Wait for it to cool.
Peel the bananas and cut them into small pieces. Add them to the rhubarb juice and the sugar.
Let sit for 1 hr, then puree all with a hand blender. Cut thin stripes off the lemon (after washing very hot) and cut them to tiny slivers. Squeeze the lemon. Add the zest, the lemon juice and the lemon acid to the rhubarb-banana mix.
Cook for four minutes, never stop steering, then fill in to clean glasses.

Notes: While I was cooking the jam, I noticed something dark and sugary sticking to the tip of my cooking spoon. I looks like the sugar at the bottom of the pot actually caramelized (and burned a little). I don't know if this can be prevented (I never really stoped steering the pot), but actually I like the flavor, so no harm done.

I sort of call this jam the 'three-hit-wonder' as you'll have three distinct flavor experiences. First the banana is very dominant, then the rhubarb makes an apperance, only to end with a lemony note.
I don't really need rolls or bread for this, I could just eat it right out of the glass.

(and in case you wonder, I made also another batch of the jelly with the left over rhubarbs)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Odds and Ends

My vacation is coming to an end (sigh) and now a couple of things I've made in the last two weeks, but haven't blogged about.

I've made elder flowers gelée. I picked some of the flowers, then steept them in apple juice for 24hrs. I then cooked the resulting liquid with jam suger. To one half of the batch I added orange juice, the other half I left as is.
 Not having enough of the cooking I also made strawberry syrup (basically a watered down strawberry gelée). A spoon full of it to a glass of water and maybe some ice and lemon, and, voilá, you have a lovely refreshing drink. A little 250ml bottle of it goes a pretty long way.
I made a small neckless (presented here on some estonian lace I'm knitting right now). Not very good to see in the picture, but it's a collier of three steel wires.
And finally (well at least here) I used my new sewing machine (which I inhereted from my sister - thanks - and was brought over from Sweden by my parents - thanks again) to sew another project bag, using the left overs from my April project.

Other than the trip to the zoo in Stuttgard, I pretty much stayed at home in my vacation. I had about a million things on my to-do list and managed to tick of quite a few of them. I finally managed to go see the King Tutanchamun exhibition in Frankfurt (before it closes), saw two movies ('Man In Black 3' and 'Snowwhite and the Huntsman'), went shopping, fixed a couple of things around the appartment, and had a good time.

Friday, June 08, 2012


A couple of days ago we went to the zoo.

The Wilhelma in Stuttgard is one of the nicest zoos I've been to so far, and even the fact that it rained half of the time, didn't take much off of the enjoyment.
I made a ton of photos, so here a very small selection:

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Large Projects

Within the last week I finished two larger projects.

First project is a Nuvem ('Wolke') made from Wollmeise Lace yarn in the color 'Nicole'. I used all but a small rest of maybe 2 gr from a large skein (they come normally in 300g skeins, but mine was slightly under weight). The finished shawl is big enough to wrap completely wround me so it's perfect for cooler summer nights.
I did change the border from the pattern, knitting 3 knit / 2 purl instead of all knit. This leads to a somewhat less ruffled border.

Second project is a smallish blanket (it turned out 135cm by 120cm, which is nice for a lapblanket). The original used thinner yarn, which would have made it even smaller (I think it's something like 90 by 90cm)
I used Lett Lopi for it and we had loads of fun picking out the right colors in my local yarn shop.
I used about 3 skeins each of the lighter colors and 4 of the darker ones. The border, which is knitted first outward, then inward to be sewed to the back of the blanket, uses up a lot of the yarn and I had to shop for more two times during the process of making it.
The border is also a bit on the biggish side, less stitches or smaller needles would have been better.
The little stray blue sheep was an idea I saw in another project for this blanket. I believe it lightens the whole thing up a little.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Schwabsburger Wollfest

Last weekend was a lovely little yarn (+ a couple of other things) market in the village of Schwabsburg, south of Mainz.

There was yarn, of course

 Some finished products (I covet the blanket there)
Though, what really made me drool was this loom. Not just the wrap on it (though it was totally drool worthy) but I would love to have a loom like this. Sadly (or maybe luckily) I don't have the space to store it.
 Still, WANT!!!

Even though I walked through the market muttering "I have enough wool, I don't need to buy any more wool", I brought two lovely beauties home with me. I was simply defenceless in the presence of so much yarn.

Saturday, June 02, 2012


The jewellery making is still ongoing.

But also the colunary art is not neglected.
I've made rhubarb jelly folloging this recipe:
Next time, I would use less of the juice (maybe 750ml ~ 800ml instead of a full litre to the 500gr jam suger. The jelly simply didn't firm up enough and eating it involves keeping your bread perfectly level else the stuff drips off said bread.
With the rest of the juice and strawberries I've then made jam.
All very tasty.
I personally, don't eat much jams (I'm more for a hearty breakfast), so I gave most of the stuff away already.
You may ask though, why then I made it in the first place? The answer is simple: I have fun doing it!