Thursday, June 13, 2013

I've Got This Thing For Rhubarb

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I really love rhubarb in most any edible size, shape or form.

I came across this "Ode to Rhubarb" blurb on a cooking site and got a bang out of it because it so describes how I feel about that much misunderstood fruit . . . which is technically classified as a vegetable, but we won't get into that.

Here's the quote:


Rhubarb!  You lovely, stringy red stlak!  How maligned you
are for your sourness, but how much the
better you are for it!
How often are you ruined, senselessly
with the addition of strawberries, as though you
were just a filler, or were unable to
stand up on your own.
How you remind us that nothing can
ever truly be sweet without being sour!
How you keep us from lazier, sweet cherry-laden desserts!
How do I love thee, rhubarb?
Truly, I am unable to count the ways.

Hee-hee.  Yup, that pretty well describes my feeling about rhubarb.

I have just one rhubarb plant in my garden but it serves me well.  So far (I first harvested some on May 29th this year and that was rushing it, but I simply couldn't wait any longer), I've made two pies, one pan of Rhubarb Crunch, one Rhubarb Upside Down Cake and put four containers of rhubarb sauce in the freezer.  (We like it during the winter on our oatmeal, or over a dollop of vanilla ice cream on a slice of pound cake.)  Also stashed in the freezer are the ready-to-go bagged up fillings for four pies we'll enjoy this winter.  I guess I'd have to say that my current very favorite rhubarb dessert is Rhubarb Cream Pie.  I've yet to make it this year, but I know I will before the season is over.

I can't think of rhubarb without fond memories of Rosie's Cafe, a small family owned restaurant Papa Pea and I frequented in the early years of our marriage.  I wrote a post about Rosie's (and rhubarb and pie crust) back when I first started blogging in 2008.  If I don't come up with anything stupendously interesting (ha!) about which to blog tomorrow, I'll repost it.


Carolyn said...

Ok, go ahead and yell now.
I've never had rhubarb.
If I grow some and I don't like it, can I ship it off to you?

beth said...

I love rhubard as well. Wish we could figure out how to keep it alive here in s. california! ;)

Lisa said...

Um, I'm actually with Carolyn here in that I've never had rhubarb. But you make it sound so very wonderful that I promise if I ever get an opportunity to eat it, I will. Does it grow in the South? Maybe that's why I've never had any? :)
P.S. Love your new header!

Sparkless said...

The only way I can eat rhubarb is with lots of sugar cause it's so sour it makes my mouth pinch. But put it in a pie or cake with lots of sugar and it's pretty good. When we were kids my mom would let us take a small amount of sugar outside to eat a stalk of rhubarb but we mostly used the rhubarb to suck the sugar off of.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Love your new picture, hiding behind the coffee cup, must have had to take the pot off your head to cook the rhubarb in.

Mama Pea said...

Carolyn - I'm sending you a pan of Rhubarb Crunch. Hope it doesn't arrive . . . crunched. Hahahahaha!

Mama Pea said...

Beth - You'll probably have to move north (way north) to get it to grow. The plants require a "winter" temperature of below 40°F to survive year to year. Isn't that something? A crop that NEEDS our cold winters to make it??

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Yes, my southern belle, you've probably never had it because it's a northern crop. Any rhubarb that would possibly show up in stores by you would no doubt be very tired (and certainly not the freshest) from its long journey southward!

Thanks! My daughter put it together for me.

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - I've heard of people eating stalks of it by dipping it in sugar but that's, believe it or not, not for me. Because hubby and I both really like the flavor of rhubarb, I find myself cutting the amount of sugar in any recipe because, yes, most recipes do overdo it on the sugar content. Then all you can taste is the "sweet." Ugh.

Mama Pea said...

Tombstone Livestock - Hardy-har-har-har!!

DFW said...

That makes 3 of us that have never had it. For myself, I think it's a Southern thing.

Mama Pea said...

DFW - It is a southern thing in that the climate in most places in the south can't grow it!

P.S. I've never tasted okra!

2 Tramps said...

Oh, you are a whirling dervish of activity! Our rhubarb was divided and transplanted last year. It is starting to make a come back. We were able to share nice big plants with several gardening friends and family. Your rhubarb cream pie recipe happens to be sitting on my kitchen counter right now - I pulled it out of my recipes and we are looking forward to making it soon.

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - Oh, oh, oh! I've not made it here yet this year. Can I come over for a piece? ;o} I hope you two like it as much as we do.

I should divide my plant one of these years soon, too. And move it to a new spot, do you think? It's done so well where it is though . . .

Jenyfer Matthews said...

I have three large plants and one more smaller one that is coming back in the spot where I dug up a fourth plant last year so I decided that I better start finding ways to like rhubarb! I'm going to try a few more desserts with it and also make some sauce. Who doesn't like free food?

Mama Pea said...

Jen - I know! We put so much effort (both physical and mental!) into trying to grow our own fruits and veggies and here's rhubarb . . . you can ignore it, dig it out, mow over it and it still comes back giving you all the "free food" you can use!

DFW said...

I love okra in any form. The taste is wonderful but most people can't handle the texture (or lack thereof). It really is quite slimy. Husband will only eat it coated in cornmeal & fried but I like it in soups, gumbos & especially okra & tomatoes over rice! I dried some last year. Think I'll re-hydrate it & have that for dinner tonight. I'll try to remember to take a pic & post.