Rhubard Raspberry and Red Grapefruit Jam

Welcome to Our Sunday Café, we are pleased you stopped by for a visit. Today we are offering another delicious recipe from our kitchen. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did…

Rhubarb, Raspberry and Red Grapefruit Jam, tangy and delicious!
Rhubarb, Raspberry and Red Grapefruit Jam.
We always have "bread and butter" on jam making day as part of our supper.

It usually takes us a little while to realize how smart, our Mom was. Sometimes it will come upon us, as we prepare something for the first time and we just “know” how to do it, accurately. When finished, we might even have that a-ha moment, of complete and total understanding. 

Other times we might have a memory flashback to something that happened in our childhood, and realize that Mom wanted us to learn and grow on our own. Those were the times we have been left to our own devices so that we could. You might even recall working on a project, listening to her suggestions, and later wishing you had taken them. Mom would praise the work, just the same.

If we were to move out as soon as we thought we knew everything, most kids would move out at about age 13. And then move right back in, 20 minutes later, because what we thought we knew, was really just a 13-year-old talking! I know it takes living and working as an adult before you understand the wisdom of your own Mom.

Fortunately, it is never too late to say thanks and express how you feel. Or to show respect for the ways that were taught and lived daily, should Mom no longer be there. My own Mom is not with us anymore. I think of my Mom often, most of it is good, and some, well we just won’t go there! You see, my Mom could be bold and loud, (did I mention loud?) in how she approached life and also, how she talked if you know what I mean!

Growing up, we were well fed, noisy, but poor. Of course, we did not know we were poor, and I did not know we were noisy. I thought everyone lived like we did. But as I spent time with friends during grade school, I realized that no, everyone did not live like us. Their houses were quiet, with fewer kids in those houses! During these years, I was too young to understand the concept of creativity, but (fortunately) not too young to absorb it! And Mom was creative, in many many ways.

One time Mom had a can of green paint, I don't remember now if it was purchased or bartered for. But I do remember it was not really the right color for a living room. So she took it to the paint store and asked them to add a tube of yellow tint and shake it for her. She came home and painted the living room a nice cozy blue.

Our clothes were mended and passed down from kid to kid. When there was no one left to pass it to, she would have a “rummage” sale. Of course, frequently our clothes started out from a rummage sale, so it was only right to complete the circle. She would trade what we had in excess for things we needed, when possible. Mom was also good about giving to others. Since she was never one to turn down anything for free, she was happy to share, when or what she could.

But our food was where Mom was the most creative. She was willing to think outside the box to make a recipe work, or I should say, make the ingredients work. We were spoiled by her good food and plenty of it. She knew if the food did not look and taste good, it might be wasted. That is probably a huge exaggeration since 5 kids and a hungry husband kept her fairly busy in the kitchen. There was very little waste, and I am thinking probably none. I don't remember many leftovers in our refrigerator, as a kid.   

This June when my niece was married, my Mom inspired the wedding gift I put together for the bride and groom. It was a fun project and I gave credit to Mom, in the greeting I wrote. I felt it important to share that part of history with not only my niece, who was young when Mom first fell ill but her new husband as well. It also was a way for Mom to be a part of my niece's wedding. All of us "kids" liked having Mom at the wedding.

I have been thinking about all of this today because of jam.  

This delicious jam recipe is from Alice Waters. As you can imagine, it tastes wonderful and is beautiful as well. The two ingredients, strawberry rhubarb, and ruby grapefruit cook to a beautiful crimson color. A beautiful sight indeed, in the pantry and as part of a gift basket. 

Sometimes the rhubarb from the garden is a greener color than I would like to use for this jam. I have also noticed that grapefruit labeled “ruby” are just pink, when you get them home and cut them in half.

These "ruby" fruits do not live up to the name!

When this happens, the jam is delicious, but a dull brown/greenish color. Not pretty at all, and truthfully not received well when given as gifts. I still have a couple of jars of this delicious, but unfortunate looking jam, from last year. I will eat it, it is delicious, just not pretty!

I think apple butter looks pretty in this color, but not rhubarb preserves. 

Oh how I long to make beautiful, crimson-colored jam. So I asked myself, what would Mom do?

I knew that she would of taken the ingredients that she had and used them to make the best batch of jam possible. And that is when a solution came to me, use a small portion of my homegrown raspberries to get that beautiful crimson color. Let's make jam..........shall we?

Crimson Rhubarb Grapefruit Jam
adapted from: Alice Waters

2 pounds rhubarb, crimson if possible sliced 1/4 inch - this is cleaned and ready to use, 2 pounds.
2 (organic) ruby grapefruits*, the juice from both and the zest from one
1 c raspberries
4 c sugar

Combine the grapefruit juice and raspberries, simmer 5 minutes or until raspberries are soft. Press through a sieve to remove seeds.

The grapefruit/raspberry juice is very crimson,
this will make a pretty batch of jam.

Combine rhubarb, sugar, zest and raspberry/grapefruit mixture in a large heavy bottom stainless steel kettle. Let sit 1 hour (or overnight). Prepare six 8oz jelly jars and the lids according to manufactures instructions. Place a plate in the freezer to check the thickness of the preserves. Bring preserves to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Rhubarb, Raspberry and Red Grapefruit Jam cooking on the stove top.
Rhubarb, Raspberry and Red Grapefruit jam cooking. 

Continue to cook and stir 12 minutes, warning the preserves will boil up the side of the pan and may splatter. Stir constantly to prevent sticking and scorching. To test thickness, place a small spoonful of preserves onto the chilled plate, the plate should cool the preserves quickly.

When the preserves are chilled from the plate, they should be thick enough not to run, quickly across the plate. If not thick enough for your preference, continue cooking another minute or two. Check the thickness again.

Here is another great tip, from Mom. Place clean jars in a larger glass pan upside down, add 2 inches of water. Keep in a 350-degree oven until needed. 

 When ready to fill jars, remove the pan from the oven carefully. Turn jars over, emptying out any water. Fill those jars close to you, lid and cap. That way if you dribble jam while filling the others, it just does not matter!

Fill jars to 1/4 inch from the top. Attach lids and rings, secure tightly. Place jars in boiling water bath, process 10 minutes.

Let sit on the counter to cool. Makes 6 full jars and some for now. I tested the little bowl of preserves, just to be sure this is good. Oh yeah, good and pretty!

* If you are unable to get organic grapefruit, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add your grapefruits (weigh them down with a plate, they will float) and boil for 3 - 5 minutes. You want to melt any wax coating off the rind. Then proceed with the recipe as written.


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  1. I love making jam. What a good idea to add raspberries. I once made elderberry jam but it tasted sort of "wild", not at all like my mothers. I asked her why hers was so good, and she answered, "Why, I always add some raspberries to mine." Enough said.

  2. No jam in the world beats home-made - I love the idea of your rhubarb & grapefruit - sounds delicious, and I love that you added some raspberries to deliver this beautiful colour.
    Sue :-)

  3. I've made this peach jam and it also came out a really gorgeous color. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2010/09/peach-jam.html. I've also linked up with the Hearth n' Soul making peach jam spiral cookies with that jam.

  4. Oh, and I forgot to mention, your jam looks really pretty too. I love that crimson color. It would add a cheery presence to any breakfast.

  5. My rhubarb is very green, tasty, but green. Thanks for sharing how you made your rhubarb red! I grow raspberries, so I will be putting your idea to use!

  6. I just adore the stories you share with the hearth and soul hop every week...they really warm my heart :) You're mother...very wise...if only everybody knew "how" to live this way...because it takes major smarts! The jame sounds gorgeous :D

  7. thanks for stopping by... i'm your newest follower. LOVE the wisdom on your sidebar... xoxo Malia

  8. My mom also was a great inspiration to me to make food look pretty! Nice post. Thanks for stopping in at Cranberry Morning today! :-)

  9. You said you wanted pretty jam, you definitely managed this. Your jam looks great. I always admire people who take the trouble to bottle their own stuff, I never seem to have time for something like this.

  10. Melly jelly! Oh, you made me cry again you nasty girl! I was working this weekend in our basement clearing things out for our new carpet to come in and there were a number of things that were broken and had been broken for years. Well, I channeled my father and his jerry rigging powers (i could have just called him, but i wanted to see if I still had the powers) and I fixed every single thing instead of throwing it all out and buying new...What we get from our loud rackus parents is a lot more than our elevated voices! :) This jam looks divine. I dont have any rubarb, but when it comes out next spring, you can be sure I will try this one! Big hugs! Alex@amoderatelife

  11. Love the opening sentence of your post.what a beautiful recipe u 've created...yummy and homely

  12. I grew up in a large noisy house with lots of kids - and I have a large noisy house with lots of kids. I hope that my children remember me with the same love and fondness you remember your mom! I love how you adapted the recipe so that it is pretty - and delicious! Thanks for sharing this with us at the hearth and soul hop!

  13. What a beautiful colour your jam is! Almost too pretty to eat. :o) I, too, love your stories. I always look forward to reading your posts.

  14. At times I think I was born into the wrong family, I would have loved to have a mom like that. It's kind of the way I work with my kids. The rhubarb & grapefruit.

  15. Looks wonderful...I love making jam! Stopping by from the H 'n S Blog Hop. Would love to have you join my Thursday Carnival....

    Around My Family Table

  16. You sure got pretty jam! And it sounds delicious also. I would have never thought of heating the jars in the oven, but that is brilliant, so thanks to your Mom.

  17. That was such a nice post to read. Thank you for sharing a little bit about your mom. I love how creatively frugal she was! The ruby jam is gorgeous.

  18. I love jam, but especially made at home and made with love. Yours really is pretty and beautiful; no worries about that are necessary! my rhubarb has been all eaten up by the nasty deer, so no more jam until spring, it looks like.

  19. Bonnie, the one thing I have plenty of is raspberries. My backyard patch does fairly well.

    Couscous &, those flavors are very delicious together.

    Lisa, I want to make your spiral cookies, they would be a great treat, whatever jam was used!

    Alea, thanks!

    girlichef, I use those "lessons" from Mom daily!

    Malia, thanks!

    Cranberry Morning, you are welcom.

    Arnold, growing up I never knew there was an option to NOT make jam! Now I enjoy it and it is great as a gift with a loaf of homemade bread.

    alex, hello girl and thanks.

    sinfullyspicy, thanks!

    Christy, your welcome.

    Brenda, I appreciate knowing that enjoyment is had from my little ramblings, thanks!

    Alexis, thanks for stopping.

    Wendy, I can't wait to visit.

    sage, yes the jar trick is great, glad you can use it!

    Kristen, thanks so much.

    Roz, I think I would love having Bambi visit my garden, but it must be frustrating to work hard, just to feed the deer.

  20. I love citrus in jam and I am hoping I saved some rhubarb in the freezer from earlier this year. If not, I will definitely put this on the list for next year. I LOVE rhubarb, actually, so I am going to make it a priority. Thanks for the recipe idea!

  21. Hi Melynda, Thank you for taking part in the Challenge. The story about your mom and your family, we are really similar here. My mom had 6 noisy daughters and we were very poor, we do not even have a refrigerator or a tap in the house! But she was the best cook around, relatives always gather at our house during festivities for a simple but delicious dinner! My mom passed away less than 2 years ago and we all missed her terribly and think about her every single day! Mothers can never be replaced! They are the greatest treasure on earth, they make a house a home. Hopefully our children will feel that way too!
    Your jam looks really good. I love making jam, though not often enough. Will be bookmarking this. Thanks for sharing!

  22. What beautiful jam! I bet the mix of fruits made the flavor out-of-this-world good. Yum! =)

  23. Oh my my husband would love this. This is so ot my thing. But I am thinking this should be something I shoud do do! Great post. Happy Pink saturday!

  24. That is such a lovely post. That jam looks delicious. Happy pink Saturday.

  25. Well said and looks yummy too. Happy Pink Saturday, Char


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