Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Moominmamma's Rhubarb and Ginger Jam
Some childhood things stay with us all our life, their familiarity and happy memories a source of comfort we are unwilling to relinquish in adulthood. I have a pillow that can attest to this. No pictures though…this is a food blog after all and I wouldn’t want you to lose your lunch. Let me just say that pillows sometimes do not age as gracefully as people do. Of course, this doesn’t mean that we love them less.
But what happens if you discover something in adulthood that you feel should have SO been a part of your childhood? You feel such an affinity with this thing, such certainty that you and it belong together, and such adoration for what you perceive to be but the cutest thing on earth. You balk at being so obsessed with what is, for all intents and purposes, “kid stuff”, but you just can’t resist. So you don’t.
I fell in love with the Moomins from the first time I clapped eyes on them in Finland. Perhaps it’s because of their sweet, shy nature. Maybe because they live in the beautiful forests of Finland. Or because they all go to sleep in the winter. Or because they eat pancakes with berries and drink raspberry juice and have fantastic adventures together. Perhaps it’s because Tove Jansson was a genius whose stories about the Moomins were at the same time whimsical children’s tales and thoughtful reflections on many of life’s truths. I’ve mentioned them before in this post.
I’ve got a little Moomintroll stuff toy who sits at my nightstand, guarding the books there. Every so often I lean over and give him a pat and a little kiss.
So here I am, 30-odd years old today, and playing with imaginary trolls. And people wonder what the secret to eternal youth is. Start with a young heart and a young mind, and your body will follow (well to a certain degree, but still!). Toys help. So do Moomins. Strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff don’t hurt either.
And if that’s a bit of a stretch, how about some delicious rhubarb and ginger jam on toast? This one is from Moominmamma’s own recipe. Yes! I saw her recipe on Pille’s Nami-Nami and swore that if I came upon rhubarb over here (not always the case), I would definitely make it. Well, the stars aligned just for me…I found it and here’s the wonderful jam. The original recipe can be found here. I stuck to it pretty much, just reducing the recipe to the amount of rhubarb I had. Despite not having any “young” rhubarb (I did have young native ginger though…still moist and pink around the edges…gorgeous!), and some anxious to-peel-or-not-to-peel moments, the jam came out brilliant. Well, for me at least. I loved the tartness of the rhubarb and the slight zing of the ginger. And the fact that it’s Moominmamma’s recipe :)
Now I have a tangible, and edible, piece of Moominland in a jar, on the ready for those scoundrel-y days when belief lies just beyond reach, when the zombies of the dreary-everyday seem to be closing in…and when we need to be reminded that another year older does not necessarily mean one less year younger.
Feed your inner child today! :)