Rhubarb and ginger jam
4 lb. rhubarb, wiped and cut up
3 lb. sugar
1 oz. bruised root ginger tied in muslin
½ tsp. citric acid
Put the rhubarb and sugar in a bowl and leave it to stand overnight. Then transfer to a pan, add the acid and ginger bring to a boil and boil briskly for 10-13 minutes, until the jam jells when tested. Remove bag of root ginger and pot and cover immediately.
I had never experienced Rhubarb and ginger jam until I was in Scotland. When I mentioned this new food passion to a young art student we exchanged address and she was to send me her mother’s recipe. We shared a few days in a youth hostel on Barra, one of the chain of Outer Hebridean Islands drawing and talking and laughing a lot.
She was in her final year of art school in London, England. She writes:
College is exhausting; it has been one continuous battle with the tutors and with myself. I have swung from believing observed study was the ‘way to do it’ to delving into my imagination and pulling out images from things I believe or feel. The problem with the ‘imagination’ painting has been total lack of support from the tutors…last week yet another damning critism of a self-portrait study I had been doing, (God knows why I was doing it anyway)…I fear now, I shall definitely receive the lowest grade at the degree, took the work down went off to a long weekend at a friend’s in Suffock…I feel now much refreshed and as in their estimation I can’t go low.. I’m going to produce exactly what I like.
Months later she wrote again.
Anyway, good news, things have suddenly begun to click into place,…I’ve been working with still lifes, and oddly but inevitably I have found myself returning to ideas and methods I used three years back on my foundation course, i.e. instinctive, intuitive reaction to visual sensations. I have begun to realize that I don’t have to be able to say any more than that as all my theorising and reasoning will appear on canvas with paint if I respond freely and without inhibition to the things I see…
It is lovely to share her growth and actualization of her artist self.