Rhubarb grows gloriously
in a small patch
in a far corner of my yard
When it is ready for picking,
the leaves large and glossy,
we cut the stalks and put them in a basket.
In the kitchen, we snip off the large leaves,
trims the ends, and wash them.
Soon the sauce is a'bubbling
the sweet aroma teasing.
The ham is so good and that sauce!
the table is bountiful with taste and talk.
We sit out in the porch swing after,
relishing the killer rhubarb sauce
left on our tongues,
our taste buds still dancing.
We chop the rest of the stalks
and tuck them away in the freezer
ready for a Thanksgiving feast
when rhubarb cannot be found,
grateful yet again for God's bounty.
- JUST BLOOMED TODAY
- GARDEN UPDATE
- ALL ABOUT RHUBARB!
- GARDEN GIGGLE
- GARDEN GOODIES~SHARE OUR GARDEN RECIPE #0029 KILLER RHUBARB SAUCE
Heated up quickly today, so by the time I finished watering and chores, about 10:00 am, I was already wishing I was inside. Right now it is 1:30 pm and 96F. You had better believe I am hiding inside!
The heat doesn't seem to affect the birds, though. The chickens handle it rather well, since they have a place to go inside away from direct sun. The wild birds have a voracious appetite and that isn't affected by heat, either. I am sitting here, watching them eating right outside my window.
ALL ABOUT RHUBARB
Although rhubarb took on the moniker of “pie plant” in the 1800s, rhubarb has a long, celebrated history that involves much more than pie. Our common culinary rhubarb is the rhubarb we cultivate for food. While related, there are other rhubarbs known in their native China as Da-huang, which are ancient medicinal plants. The astringent roots from these plants have been used as a purgative for more than 5,000 years since they have such a strong laxative action; and they have also been used for treating burns, dysentery, appendicitis, toothache, various skin maladies and more. All rhubarbs, both culinary and medicinal, are members of the buckwheat family (Polygonaceae), and the name is believed to have originated from the Grecian Rha, their word for rhubarb. The medicinal rhubarbs of the past had deeply lobed leaves, while the more recent culinary rhubarbs have huge, heart-shaped leaves with less-defined lobes.
The rhubarb stalk (petiole) ranges in color from bright red and green and is the only edible part of the plant. Many varieties of culinary rhubarb are downright showy and ornamental. Some of them are huge, some small. Some have fat, thick, ruby-red stalks, while others have pale, thin lime-green stalks, and all of them have prolific leaf growth. The leaves of all rhubarb plants are toxic and should never be eaten; they have caused many fatalities around the globe. The leaves contain calcium oxalates and anthrone glycosides that are deadly to humans.
Rhubarb is best started from root divisions or by cutting crowns and dividing them, making sure that each division has a piece of crown, or bud and root enough to grow. You can get these from nurseries or catalogues, or from friends who are dividing their rhubarb plants. Plant the roots in early spring in fertile, well-drained soil that is enriched with organic matter like compost and aged manure; it does best with a pH between 6 and 6.5. Rhubarb will do best in full sun, however, it can grow in some partial shade, but plants and yield will be smaller. Some gardeners plant in hills and others in rows; plant about 3 to 4 feet apart and cover the roots so that the buds or crowns are covered with about 2 inches of soil. It is important to water well for the first few months, especially if it is dry. Straw or leaf mulch is a good idea to retain moisture and discourage weed growth.
Rhubarb cultivars are plentiful – they come in green, pink and red, some with 10-inch-long leaves, while others reach 18 inches. Red does not necessarily mean more mature or better flavor; pink and green are just as delicious. And bigger does not always mean better; sometimes the smaller stalks are more tender. In season, choose fresh, firm stalks that are glossy and aren’t limp and ones that are free of brown spots. Editor's Note:You are gonna want to use Aunt Ruth's tip of freezing them for use in the winter months when you can't find any rhubarb and you just HAVE to make today's killer sauce!! Don't miss it in the Garden Goodies section today!
To store fresh rhubarb, place it in a plastic bag, unsealed, and refrigerate for two weeks; it is best used as soon as possible.
Stalks can be cut crosswise into slices like celery or diagonally into 1/2- or 1-inch pieces. They can also be cut crosswise into 1 1/2- or 2-inch lengths and then julienned for a different texture.
If rhubarb is old or fibrous, remove some of the strings. Since rhubarb cooks so quickly and becomes soft, you can leave most of them without a problem.
Preserve rhubarb by cutting the stalks into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces. They can be packed raw into containers or placed in freezer ziplock bags, but be sure to label and date before freezing. Or blanch for 1 minute, drain and cool; pack into containers or freezer ziplock bags; be sure to label and date before freezing.
To make syrup, combine 2 cups sliced rhubarb with 1/2 cup water and 2/3 cup sugar in small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir and bring to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, press through sieve with spoon. Transfer to jar and store in refrigerator for 1 week; label and date. This syrup makes a great addition to any fruit salad, dessert or beverage and makes an innovative margarita, mojito, cosmopolitan or daiquiri.
Although rhubarb is easily frozen, it also can be canned in sugar syrup – check your canning guide for amounts and processing time.
This is the sauce you have been looking for your entire life! It will make your taste buds tap dance and your tummy say "Howdy!" This sauce is so good that when Aunt Ruth or a family member lose the recipe, we call each other, hoping someone can get their hands on it easily so they won't have to go hunt for it!
(1/4) cup hot water
(1/2) cup cherries
(1)T Balsamic vinegar
(2) cups rhubarb, sliced into small squares
(1) T oil
(1) tsp salt
(3) T white sugar
nutmeg to taste
(1/4) cup hot water
(1/2) cup cherries
1T Balsamic vinegar
Mix and set aside
(2) cup rhubarb, sliced into small squares
saute with (1) T oil and (1) tsp salt.
Add cherry mixture and 3T white sugar and nutmeg to taste.
Cook to desired consistency...do not overcook or it will burn.
Sauce may thicken as it cools. Better to be underdone than overdone.
Serve with ham, fish, any meat really, or as a dessert sauce over vanilla ice cream or yogurt.
So tuck this recipe away on your computer or print it out and tuck it in your primary cookbook!