My 8th Blogiversary: Rhubarb Walnut Marmalade

Eight years ago today, on a June 14th 2007, I posted my first blog post ever on Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined this blog would still be online after so many years. This post is number 926! And I cannot believe I am only 2 years shy away from double digits! This year I will celebrate with a special and sentimental Rhubarb Walnut Marmalade.

I am forever thankful to my family, friends, coworkers and all of you online for reading my posts, eating my food, help preparing it with me and leaving your cherished comments. I could never express enough my gratitude for each time you take a minute and come visit me here.

marmalade before and after

I do want to add a sober note this year. Let me tell you 8 years is a really long time. It kind of feels like 8 years is old blood, like a senior age in this online world. In the last year I have known of several long time bloggers who talked about how close they were to hanging up their aprons .The blogging landscape is changing and has so drastically in the last 3 years. There are so so many new blogs and bloggers now. I feel like I am not keeping up.  I am happy enough with where my blog is but, like all of us, I could put a lot more energy into it. And it’s really hard not to compare yourself to more successful blogger friends. Don’t take me wrong, I love blogging and I have always said I keep doing it because I do it for myself first.

I have my moments where I wonder if I should continue. But I won’t stop yet! I am not done! And just so I have it inked here, I do plan on revamping the site in the coming months! Hold me to my word and make me accountable lol.

cooking the marmalade

This anniversary posts needs to shake up my blogging and cooking roots. I will do so by highlighting one of my biggest and first culinary influences: my maternal grandmother Juliette.

Funny enough her influence is mostly based on stories. I did eat her food many times, almost every Sunday as a child, but I have no recollection of what I ate. Not a single one. By the time I showed up she only prepared meals for the immediate family. But in her younger days she was definitely the hostess with the mostess! She took fine cooking courses (and sewing) and regularly entertained many friends and family. My mom tells me how she was the helper (slave) and one of her favorite stories to tell is how my grandmother had her slice maraschino cherries in 16 purely for dessert decoration. I may not have experienced these great dinners first hand but the tales really marked me.

pyrex ad

Old Pyrex ad from my grandmother’s recipe binder

There is only one recipe she made that I clearly can still taste. It was her Rhubarb Walnut Marmalade. When we were all at the cottage in the summer my grandfather would religiously have toast with this marmalade every single morning. And I enjoyed it just as much. But I was baffled (at that young age) by the idea of my marmalade not being totally orange and having nuts in it!

 

Rhubard Walnut Marmalade

The paper on which this recipe is written recently landed in my hands. No one has made it since her last batch, perhaps about 30 years ago. I have on a long term loan my grandmother’s recipe binder and a ‘how to be married’ book in which she also transcribed by hand many of her recipes. The book was given to brides and is a wife manual with lots of advertising and a forward written by an archbishop. The book includes the marriage certificate and was published in 1930. It is beyond out dated and sexist but a fun read (so happy times have changed) and a lovely souvenir.

le livre de la nouvelle mariee

My grandmother’s The Book of the New Bride’ 1930: intro page, marriage certificate, a recipe in her hand writing.

Some of her recipes do not always make sense or are hard to follow. When I mentioned it to my mom, she said my grandmother really wrote the recipes as reminders for herself and skipped a lot of steps – things she just new. I was flipping through the pages when I came across the Rhubarb Walnut Marmalade and I knew at that moment I found my anniversary recipe.

ads 1930

Ad from the book, look at the price of Whisky

food prices

Grocery store flyer with prices 1935

Now I know why the marmalade was not orange: it’s mostly rhubarb! I am posting her original recipe but I made only a fifth of the recipe and I got about 32 ounces. I realized after I made it that I forgot to divide the nuts however but I really love them so no biggie. If you make it all, plan on caning. Looking for a new jam/marmalade to try? I would highly recommend this one.

Rhubard Walnut Marmalade top

Yields 10 pints approx

Rhubard Walnut Marmalade
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Ingredients

  • 5 pounds rhubarb
  • 5 pounds sugar
  • 4 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/4 pounds walnuts

Instructions

  1. Cut rhubarb into 1 inch pieces and place in a medium saucepan with sugar.
  2. Add the whole lemons and oranges that have been chopped finely.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Add the walnuts and cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Store in 10 pint sized sterilized jars.
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