Now you’re jamming

Posted June 02, 2009, at 5:20 p.m.

Now you’re jamming

We announced the winners of the Rhubarb Recipe Contest in last Wednesday’s Bangor Daily News. We received great feedback from lots of people, but one request popped up multiple times: Everyone wants Orono resident Joyce Lovely’s recipe for Rhubarb Ginger Jam. According to Lovely, her grandmother made the jam when she was small, growing up in Liverpool, England. So, by request, here it is, reprinted from “Good Housekeeping’s Basic Cookery,” a British cookbook published in 1955, which Lovely says she bought when she was 18 with her first-ever paycheck, and brought with her to America, where she now has lived for 40 years. To make the Rhubarb Ginger Jam, you need 4 pounds chopped rhubarb, 3 pounds sugar, ½ teaspoon citric acid, one bruised ginger root tied in muslin, and a ½-pound crystallized ginger cut into small pieces. Put rhubarb and sugar in layers in a bowl and leave to stand overnight. Transfer that to a pan, add the acid and bruised ginger, bring to a boil and allow it to boil briskly for 15-20 minutes, until the jam jells when tested. Remove the bag of root ginger, add the crystallized ginger, stir well, then pot and cover immediately. Makes 8 pints. According to Lovely, you can add more ginger if you really love it, and you can purchase citric acid at the Natural Living Center in Bangor.

‘If music be the food of love …’

Three Tides in Belfast, always a great place to grab a cocktail on a pleasant summer evening, will offer live music on Wednesdays throughout the summer, paired with a traditional Maine lobster dinner and a selection of fine beers brewed right on the premises. For $35, diners and listeners can have an appetizer, a lobster bake and a dessert, and listen to the music of some of Maine’s finest folk, pop and jazz artists. Emilia Dahlin will play today, June 3; Marie Morehead on June 17; Raffi Der Simonian on June 24; the Highball Jazz Trio on July 1; and Anni Clark on Aug. 12. More artists will be announced in the summer. To make a reservation for dinner, call 338-1707. You can find Three Tides at 2 Pinchy Lane on the Belfast waterfront.

Smoothie sailing

More about Belfast: Bell the Cat, a Belfast eatery well-known to locals, has renovated its digs next door to Mr. Paperback at the Renys Plaza at the junction of Routes 1 and 3. Now almost double its original size, the new and improved Bell the Cat boasts hardwood floors and a very cool enclosed booth area, with stained-glass windows and pewlike benches. Some things haven’t changed, however — there are still tasty, filling sandwiches, multitudes of cookies and bars, and great gourmet coffee. On a personal note, I consider myself a bit of a smoothie aficionado, which means I feel qualified to make the claim that Bell the Cat has the best smoothies I’ve ever had in the state of Maine. I mean that. I recommend blueberry and peach with soymilk and organic vanilla yogurt. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s absolutely heavenly. But I digress.

Tidbits is hungry for news about local food products and events. Send your Tidbits by mail to: Bangor Daily News, attn: Tidbits, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402-1329; by fax to 941-9476; or by e-mail to tidbits@bangordailynews.net.

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