Slowly becoming (mostly) local

Victorian BBQ Sauce

Victorian BBQ Sauce

As I’ve become more aware of the actual carbon cost of food and the distance food travels from harvest to my house (like the average 1800 MILES a carrot travels!), I have become more aware of the process of mass food production.  There are some things I’ll never be able to “buy local” (citrus doesn’t handle New England well!)  but  I’ve started to make choices to reduce my carbon consumption.

This year, I’m a member of the Olde Nourse Farms CSA.  The farm that operates this CSA is one of the oldest farms in the US.  One of their variations that I love is that it is on a “point system” so I can choose from a variety of products available.  This week, I was able to obtain 3 pounds of rhubarb to try one of the variations of the Victorian Barbecue Sauce I’ve seen floating around the internet.

Knowing that the BBQ sauce(s) of the Victorian era were mostly used to cover up the taste of less than succulent meat, I wasn’t surprised to discover that all the recipes called for cinnamon.  I clubbed together one that drew upon the flavor profiles I liked and viola: 2 pints (4 half-pints) of BBQ sauce for later this year.  Yes the sugar wasn’t from Massachusetts nor were the spices but the prime ingredients were from Massachusetts.

8C chopped rhubarb

3C light brown sugar, lightly packed

1 chopped medium onion

1/2 c white vinegar

1t cinnamon

2t ground ginger

1t sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan.  Bring to a boil over a high heat.  Reduce heat, continue to cook at a soft boil for 30 minutes stirring frequently (I like my sauce a bit thicker, thinner sauce and greater yield at 20 minutes).

Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space, remove air bubbles adjust head space if needed.  Wipe rim with wet paper towel.  Put lid on jar.  Screw band until finger tip tight.

Place jars in boiling water for 15 minutes, cover lid.

Remove lid, allow to remain in hot water for 5 minutes.

Remove from water bath and listen for the happy sound of popping jars.

I found this flavor profile to work well for chicken and pork – and of course in the crock pot. :)

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