Mother/Grandmother’s Day Tea

My mom and Grammy came into the city to meet me for lunch today with the hopes of having tea at Lovejoy’s in Noe Valley. Unfortunately, when I tried to make a reservation two weeks ago I learned that they are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Alas, I started making preparations to bring tea to them in my own kitchen. This turned out to be really fun, at least for me!

After perusing the Lovejoy’s menu, I decided to make apple chicken salad and cucumber mint sandwiches with whole wheat and white bread, crusts removed. Then I made some of my favorite banana bread and served it with my peach butter and rhubarb berry jam. I also bought some petit fours, sparkling lemonade, and fresh berries to serve with the lunch. Topped off with rose corsages and jars of rhubarb jam as “party favors”, I think it was a success!

Cucumber Mint Tea Sandwiches (Courtesy of Epicurious/Gourmet)

  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves, rinsed, spun dry, and chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 6 slices of whole-wheat bread
  • a 3-inch length of seedless cucumber, cut into thin slices

In a small bowl combine the mint, the butter, and the cream cheese and stir the mixture until it is combined well. Spread the bread slices with the butter mixture, top 3 of them with the cucumber, distributing the cucumber evenly and seasoning it with salt, and top the cucumber with the remaining bread slices. Cut off and discard the crusts and cut each sandwich diagonally into quarters.

 

Rhubarb Berry Jam

On a whim this morning, I had the urge to run out and buy some rhubarb to make jam. I found an interesting recipe which is mostly made up of rhubarb with a few extra cups of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries on David Lebovitz’s website and decided to go for it. Not only is the final product gorgeous in color and texture, it also tastes amazing!

 

  • 3 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups packed mixed berries (I used 1/2 cup blackberries, 1 cup strawberries, and 1/2 cup raspberries)
  • 1 cup water or apple juice (I used water)
  • 5 1/2 cups sugar
  • juice of one lemon
  • pinch of salt

1. In a large pot, mix the rhubarb, berries, and the water or apple juice. Cook, covered, stirring frequently over moderate heat, until the rhubarb is cooked through and thoroughly tender. It should take about 15 minutes. (I actually mixed the fruit with the sugar and allowed to macerate for 10 minutes before putting over the heat.)

 

2. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and salt, and cook, uncovered, skimming off and discarding any foam that rises to the surface, until the jam is thick and passes the spoon test.

3. Once done, spoon into clean jars, preserve (or refrigerate once cooled), and enjoy.

 

Posted in Jam