I've just dug these from the garden, lovely and crisp and fresh, knobbly and tasty. I'm going to do them scalloped in cream to go with cottage pie for tea. Just peel, parboil them and clie into a flat dish; add seasoning, garlic if you like, then cover with cream and bake until tender, with a golden brown top. The other thing they are great for is a soup - makes one of the very best winter soups, rich and cmoky tasting. A great, easy crop to grow, Jerusalem artichokes wil grow up to about 9ft tall in a season, so may overshadow other crops, so must be planted with care. Another thing to watch out for is that they will re-grow from the tiniest chip of artichoke left behind in the ground. Best to give over a patch to them permanently and enjoy them for years to come. the tall stems can be cut down towards the end of summer/autumn, but leave a few inches as markers to show where the tubers lie beneath. Stems can go on the heaps, but my goats love them, so they get them when they are green. In very warm summers, they will flower at the very top of the stems, with a small yellow, sunflower-like bloom - hence the Italian name, girasol, from which the Jerusalem part of the name has evolved.
A very welcome addition to the winter vegetable basket.
As for the jam, well it's that time of the year again! Time to rootle through the jam cupboard and take out all the extras - ones not keen on, ones that have gone sugary, odd half jars, ones I know won't be used, etc. This makes room for when teh spring cleaning comes along, and room on teh shelves for this summer's batch of jammy goodness. The jars are emptied into a brewing bucket, 8 jars to two gallons of hot water, plus about 1 1/2 lbs of sugar. Stir to dissolve, add sliced lemon/ornage and three teabags. Leave to cool to blood heat, then add activated yeast, stir well, cover tightly and leave in a warm place for 4 - 5 days. Strain into a demi-john and leave to ferment out, rack, leave 6 weeks, then bottle. Can be drunk in about 6 months, and hey presto, jam wine :)