Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Moominmamma's Rhubarb and Ginger Jam

title
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! :)

35 comments:

Pille said...

Oh, Joey, the photo is absolutely gorgeous - and what a beautiful pink shade the jam is!!! I'm so pleased that you found some rhubarb finally, so you can feed your inner Moomin-loving child with this jam now :)

veron said...

That jam looks phenomenal!I do not know who Moomin is but I always get to feed my inner child - remembering the days of cartoons and stuff and I still love them. Oh and I do encounter a lot of things -especially food that I thought should have been a part of my childhood. Great post!

christine said...

What a cute story about discovering the Moomins, even though I've heard it a few times from you before, I still find it so amusing. If it wasn't for you, I probably still wouldn't have heard of them. The picture is so pretty and the addition of ginger to the jam sounds irresistible. I love anything with ginger! I'm such a gingersnap and ginger tea monster. What a great post to celebrate your love for Moomins and your birthday! :)

katrina said...

I love this post, it's classic YOU! One of the (many) things I so enjoy about your blog is how you seem to see the world with such *young* eyes. How perfectly everything fell together -- your child-like fascination with Moomins, finding rhubarb (where???), and your birthday...it's almost as if it was all scripted! But then, life often seems that way, doesn't it?

I've never had jam with ginger, but I'm positive I'd love it. More and more I'm discovering how much I love ginger and how it goes so well with so many other flavors. I've had chocolate with ginger, watermelon & ginger shake, and just last weekend, a dalandan & ginger juice which was bitingly refreshing!

Middento said...

Hey there -- just thought I'd drop a comment as part of The Great Mofo Delurk. I credit you with getting me into food blogs at all, since you drew me in with your fabulous crsipy sage and brown butter pasta recipe, which I found when we got a bumper crop of sage. I've been lurking here ever since. Thanks for a great blog. :)

katiez said...

Gorgeous jam...I love rhubarb but don't get it often either. I've made pear and ginger jam and I lve the spicy, ginger in it.
I have gnome om my bookcase - does that count?

Peabody said...

I will have to make this for my mom, she loves all things rhubarb.

Belinda said...

What a delightful post, Joey, and this rhubarb and ginger jam...my goodness, it is the most gorgeous shade of red I've ever seen...I can hardly take my eyes off it! I am unfamiliar with Moomins (lol!), so I clicked the link, and now I know what they are. So cute! And am I correct in gathering from your post that today is your birthday?! Yay! I wish you a day filled with all of your favorite things...and a year to follow filled with only happy days. :-)

maybahay said...

lovely looking jam. i'm sure it's delicious. i've posted a rhubarb and pineapple chutney recipe recently, which also had ginger but it is the savoury sort. will try your sweet version soon.

mtan said...

Red becomes you Joey! Felicitations on your day :)

Anh said...

The jam looks sooo good! I like the combo of rhubarb and ginger... Great post!

lobstersquad said...

I have a moomin mug right in front of me as I write...lovely post

regina said...

i must agree.. i don't really like jams but your picture makes me want to eat your rhubarb and ginger jam and .. made me change my lurker status. i've been a regular visitor and i just want to thank you for sharing. i've also discovered other food blogs through you so.. thanks =)

Franco said...

Hi Joey,

A really stunning photo. Had to comment even if I'm on vacation. :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Pille! Thank you for sharing the recipe! Everything was pink...my fingertips, the cutting board...I loved it :) Yes, my "inner Moomin-loving child" was very pleased!

Hi Veron! Thanks! I remember my favorite childhood cartoons too :) At least we can still enjoy all that food today!

Hi Nens! They are adorable creatures :) More popular up North but also very big in Japan or so I hear :) I love ginger too...especially really strong salabat!

And what I like about you Katrina is that every comment you leave is full of insight! Yes, even the bezonkey ones ;) I found the rhubarb in Santi's where they do carry it once in a while...now you see it now you don't :) But yes, sometimes life hands you a perfect script and you just ride with it! And sometimes you need help so you make (of buy) something sweet to "adlib" :) Ginger and dalandan juice sounds like something I would like!

Hi Middento! Oh wow! What a nice surprise :) Thanks for de-lurking! So glad to hear you have been enjoying my posts :)

Hi Katiez! The one I bought was probably imported so you can just imagine how faaar from the source that was...but I got my rhubarb so all's well :) Pear and ginger jam sounds great! Gnomes count :)

Hi Peabody! I can't saw I have had much rhubarb in my life but this jam is delicious :) Hope you guys like it!

Thank you so much for the sweet birthday greetings Belinda :) I was totally enthralled with the color too...it was my first time to work with rhubarb so you can imagine how excited I was with the bright color!

Hi Maybahay! I love chutney and I'm sure I would love that...the combination sounds fantastic :)

Thanks M! Red becomes you too ;) Especially when we are enjoying a nice chat over cocktails! :)

Hi Anh! Thanks :) It's such a great combination! And I have Pille and Moominmamma to thank :)

Hi Ximena! Yay! Nice to see another Moomin person :)

Hi Regina! Thanks so much for de-lurking! Really, it's always such a nice surprise :) Glad you're enjoying 80 Breakfasts!

Thanks so much Franco! Now get back to your holiday-making! :) Hope you are having a ball!

Mansi Desai said...

Ginger jam!!??? wow, that's a newbie! way to go, I love the color of the jam!:)

Bordeaux said...

These recipes and the accompanying images are a delight and very inspirational. I've only discovered your blog this week and am excited to try out some of these ideas.
b

toni said...

You take great photos and that jam looks so tempting! I've never heard of Moomins and now I have, thanks to you!

I tagged you by the way! :D

http://toni.marikit.net/?p=749

Truffle said...

Very wise words!

I love the vibrant colour of your jam. Simply stunning. I want to dip my spoon in right now!

Kelly-Jane said...

Real ruby jam! Absolutley gorgeous :)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Mansi Desai! It was certainly new for me...but very good! :)

Hi Bordeaux! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a sweet comment :) Glad to hear you are enjoying my site :)

Thanks Toni! I'll check it out :)

Hi Truffle! Thank you :) I like the way the color turned out too :)

Thank you Kelly-jane! I like the way it's so bright...kinda cheerful :)

valentinA said...

I've never seen a momre beautiful coloured home-made jam than yours Joey. Truly, I'm not a abig fan of jam, but yours makes my mouth water!

MikeMina said...

looks yummy! this reminds me i have pending experiments on jams . . . happy birthday!

Kelly Mahoney said...

The color on this is so lovely! It must be great on all kinds of pastry.

african vanielje said...

I too discovered Moomins late in life. Not telling you how late, but it shuld have been in childhood. I love your jam, your post and your pics.

Susan said...

What a truly lovely photo that is, Joey! It makes me want to change my lunch of butternut squash to toast with jam! Great post!

ChichaJo said...

Thanks Valentina! You are such a sweetie :) I also liked how the color came out...that's thanks to a brilliantly colored rhubarb! :)

Hi Mike! Thanks for the birthday greeting :) Hope to read about your jam experiments soon!

Hi Kelly! I actually made a simple tart with some puff pastry, ricotta cheese, and this jam and it turned out lovely :)

Hi african vanielje! Thank you :) Aren't these moomins so cute? :)

Hi Susan! Thanks! Hmmm....what if you send some of that butternut squash my way and I'll send you some of the jam ;)

Jen Tan said...

Belated Happy birthday Joey!!!! =)

What unique jam you've made! I've never really tasted Rhubarb anything yet..another must try =)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jen! Thanks for the nice birthday greeting! :) I get the rhubarb in Santi's if it is available. In Sala (in Makati) they have a creme brulee with rhubarb that is good :)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Moominmamma jam - I want some of this in store too!

I loved this post Joey, it's possibly my favourite ever!

Happy Belated Birthday! Apologies for the lateness, hope you had a wonderful day!

Jen Tan said...

Your very much welcome...I know our birthdays are just days apart kase =)

Thanks for the heads up!---I'll keep watch for rhubarbs at Santi's =) I got lost in Makati last Saturday (on the way to a cancer benefit at Silverlens) and I think I came across Sala amidst the navigation confusion! hahaha I want to try Sala soon..hopefully they have those rhubarb creme brulee =)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Amanda! Thanks for that lovely comment and warm birthday greeting :)

Jen! Omg! Yikes! That's means I missed your birthday! Hope it was great! :) When I went to Sala the menu was really short but each item sounded good...and the salad I had (the one with white peaches, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, candied hazelnuts, arugula) was fabulous! I licked my plate clean!

Jen Tan said...

Hey Joey..it's ok..may next year pa naman ;P hahahaha Wow...that salad sounds really good ah ...I like candied nuts in my salads at Hazelnuts pa, a plus for that! Fruits..cheese and nuts in salad..a complete meal!! MUST GO THERE SOON...for a post bday celebration? ;P hahahaha

Candygirl said...

Hi Joey,

Rhubarb? Here in Manila? Where?

ChichaJo said...

Hahaha! Ok, next year! :) Hehe :) I really love that salad! Another thing I like about it is that it is spread out flat on a big square plate, as opposed to being piled high into a vertical leaf-structure...so you get a bit of each element in each bite! :)

Hi Candygirl! I got mine in Santi's but they don't always have it...so if you see some, snap it up! :)