Saturday, January 11, 2014

Need A January Tonic?

Since rhubarb has long been hailed as a spring tonic, I decided it might be okay to use it as a pepper-upper in January.

I've always heard (and it may only be an old wive's tale) you should stop taking any stalks from your rhubarb plant(s) by mid-summer so if I want rhubarb in my freezer for use over winter, I harvest it before the 4th of July.


I still have two or three bags of ready-to-go rhubarb pie filling so I pulled one of them out this morning.  They're so easy to have on hand.  In summer time just fill your quart measuring cup with about 4 cups of cut up rhubarb.


I confess if I have a stalk or two more than the four cups, I'll cut them up and fill the measurer nearly to the top.  (Won't hurt a thing.  But you should have at least four cups, for sure.)

Dump the rhubarb into a bowl and mix well with one cup of sugar, 1/3 (slightly rounded) cup of flour and a dash of salt.  Put it all into a gallon freezer bag.  I like to lay mine out flat to freeze so several bags stack easily together.


One thing and another kept happening all day today and I didn't get the pie baked as early as I had wanted.  Here it is cooling on the back porch after the sun had gone down.  I was going to put a lattice crust on the pie, but because I wanted to get it into the oven asap, I just cut rounds out of the rolled out pastry crust and plopped them on to form sort of a top crust.  Yeah, I know, I probably shouldn't have done that.  (It kinda looks like a cobbler with biscuits on top, doesn't it?)  Not as attractive as a lattice crust would have been, but I'm betting the pie will get eaten anyway.

In addition to having the spring-tonic-in-January rhubarb to eat, I put lots (Papa Pea said, "The back of my throat kinda burns . . . ") of fresh, chopped garlic on our pizza tonight.  We all know garlic is good for anything that ails ya, so by tomorrow we should be in great shape!  (Might not be a bad idea to suck on a mint or two if we come into contact with anyone from the outside world, though, since I apparently got a little over zealous with the garlic.)  

14 comments:

Lisa said...

We love homemade 'fast-food' too! I've never had rhubarb pie, but yours looks and sounds absolutely delicious! PS Your cooling racks are 'cool'!

LindaCO said...

"The back of my throat kinda burns" Oops. That's really funny. At least you should cancel each other out. Can't say what the people you meet might experience...

Anonymous said...

LOL poor Papa Pea, but dang, garlic is just GOOD! Hope you are staying warm in the weather, although knowing you, you are just fine! Just think, we are on the back side of the winter.

http://caffeinatedhomestead.weebly.com/blog.html

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - Can't believe you've never had rhubarb pie. But come to think of it, rhubarb IS a plant that doesn't do well without the cold winters for its hibernation so I'm guessing it doesn't even grow by you. If there was a way, I'd bring you a rhubarb pie today!

Thanks for noticing my cooling rack! I have that one and one a bit smaller. Believe it or not, they were a wedding present and are 50-1/2 years old! I use them nearly every day and always marvel that they have held up through so much use. I love them!

Mama Pea said...

LindaCO - The funny thing was he said he couldn't even taste the garlic when we first started eating. Then about 5-10 minutes into the meal, out came this little voice about his throat burning!

Mama Pea said...

Stephanie - Our weather finally broke last Friday. Yesterday was absolutely balmy getting ABOVE 30°. Wow, did that feel strange! Unfortunately, it's to be above freezing again today, but with an icy mix. Yuck, I don't like that!

Little Homestead In Boise said...

I love rhubarb, and get it free from my neighbor. She has a monster pant, 4' wide! I froze some too, and getting ready to make a crumb top cobbler. I throw in some other fruit, like my frozen, home grown nectarines, perfect!

Mama Pea said...

Little Homestead in Boise - You have home grown nectarines??! I'm salivating right now. Strawberries with rhubarb are very popular, too. (My opinion is that's good way to ruin rhubarb!)

Susan said...

A little ray of sunshine! I love rhubarb - I have nutured a whole line of plants (and have managed, so far, to keep the chickens at bay) but tossing buckets of llama beans on them all through the winter. This year I didn't get half enough frozen and I am kicking myself. Can I come up and borrow a cup?

Mama Pea said...

Susan - That's a new one! Can I borrow a cup of sugar? Can I borrow a cup of gin? Can I borrow a cup of rhubarb? Besides the pie fillings, I also froze small containers of sauce made from the rhubarb. We like it over oatmeal, pudding, ice cream, pound cake. Yep, we both need to freeze more of it this coming year!

Sparkless said...

I think my rhubarb plant has finally bit the dust. This past year was the first year the plant didn't do very well. I've read that you need to divide the plant every few years but we've never done that and the plant has done well for 17 years. Guess we'll see how she does this spring.
Love garlic but don't like the kick it has after you've had a few mouthfuls. Poor Papa Pea but at least he knows that it's killed any virus that was in his throat.

judy said...

and I thought the pie looked pretty darned good rhubarb pie in Jan,wow ,your so lucky.
after that Jan ,thaw ,you must have a real mix of ground cover? just don't go walking on it with out chains on those boots

Mama Pea said...

Sparkless - Now you've got me worried about my rhubarb plant. We've never moved it in 17 years . . . but have chunked off parts to give to a couple/few other people for their gardens. Maybe that helps?

Mama Pea said...

judy - Our "thaw" last for three days, but wasn't enough to melt hardly any of our heavy cover of snow . . . even on the driveway. Today we're back to a high of 9°. No heat wave anymore!