Rubarb #5: Rhubarb, Strawberry, Blueberry Sauce


I recently posted this as my status on facebook:  'Wanda Thorne is not the sum of her purchases'

We've been hearing a lot over the last year or so in Toronto about how we are 'tax-payers' in our city or how we are 'consumers' in our city.  I'm not interested in being a part of something where I only matter in as much as I spend or don't spend.  I say B.S.  I am a citizen and not a consumer.

Recently I went to a big grocery store.  You know the ones.  Big parking lot.  Big carts.  So many rows of stuff that I have to read the sign hanging at the beginning of each row to know what's down there.  So many freezers that you get cold standing in the freezer aisle.  A live band playing upstairs... having an upstairs.
I usually get my grocery shopping done either by the food box or small Mom and Pop kinda places.  So this was... well, it's been a while.  I was a bit overwhelmed.  I had a short list but a specific one and even with all those rows of crap they didn't have exactly what I was looking for.  What amazed me about it was that it took a long time.  Dare I say it even.... it wasn't convenient.  It's like being at Wonderland or Disney World.  It's this little world that exists in and of itself, disconnected from the world outside.  I didn't know what time it was anymore.  There was so much meat that I got confused and just walked away.  It was a bubble and I felt like I got sucked into it and had to get out quick.  Yeah, I started to get a little weirded out.   Most people though were sauntering through, had kids with them, were listening to music... it was like an excursion.  It's not an excursion that I want to have on a regular basis.
I guess that's how it is most of the time now.  Shopping Malls are full... always.  With people who are walking around.  Are they buying things?  Are they there to get something specific and go?  Is the simple act of walking around these places just continuing to feed this message that we are what we consume?  Don't get me wrong, I don't think that shopping is evil.  We all need to shop.  But what I buy, where I buy it and when, those things do not define who I am.  I am not going to let a marketing firm or an advertising agency inform how I live my life.  When I am 'bored' shopping or going to the Mall is not the first thing that I want to do.
If I think of all that stuff that my great grand-parents had to do in a day and all of the machinery that we have now that let's us off the hook all in the name of 'efficiency and having more time' then I'm staggered and a little embarassed that we fill so much of it with buying stuff.
As a side note, I've been thinking a lot about this article lately.  I saw it on one of my fave blogs and I know that the writer is pretty out there - yeah, I'm well aware of his reputation - but I'm starting to think that maybe what we need is more of the 'kinda out there' because just kinda doing it at home and not being 'out there' is not working....


My neighbours gave me a *&%t load of rhubarb.   My head's not really around rhubarb right now but it came from their parents garden.  I'm not gonna say no.  So, I found some other fruit in my freezer and made this stuff.  Sauce for whatever you'd like.  I'd say vanilla ice cream is at the top of my list but I'm not about to tell you what to do with it.  Just try it.  It's good... really good.... and share some of it with friends.



Wanda's Rhubarb, Strawberry, Blueberry sauce
adapted rather generously from Stocking the Larder

8 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup each, strawberries and blueberries
6 cups sugar
rind of half an orange
1 1/4 cups water or juice
1 vanilla bean (seeds removed)

Sterilize about 4 medium (500 ml) sized jars - maybe one small one just to be safe.

Begin to get the water bath ready.

Combine all the ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat down just enough to keep the mixture simmering.  Simmer for about 16 min.
Pour into the sterilized jars - if you don't have enough for 4 medium sized jars than use a little one for the last bit.  If there is a bit leftover than go and get some vanilla ice cream... seriously.  Place the seals and lids on each and close just until it's firm but not tight.
Place the jars in the boiling water bath and keep them there for about 10 minutes (mine were in for about 12).
Remove from the water bath and cover with clean cloth.  Check the seal on the jars.  Let the jars sit under a  cloth for about 24 hours .
Will keep for quite a long time.


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St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.

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Wanda Thorne
St Michael's Choir School is celebrating it's 75th anniversary year of service to St Michael's Cathedral. Part of the school celebration is a trip to Italy where our boys from Grades 5 - 12 will be performing and celebrating Mass. This blog will be chronicling our adventures. Wanda Thorne is the Vocal Coach at St Michael's Choir School. Gerard Lewis is the Grade 7/8 Homeroom teacher at the Choir School.
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