I love rhubarb
Rhubarb seems to be one of those things that you either love or you hate. The hub and I happen to love it. My sister, on the other hand, calls it a vile weed and won’t go anywhere near it. She also shuns most green vegetables, would rather eat chocolate (but only in certain desserts) and is so-so on most forms of protein. Weirdo.
Thankfully, there is usually no shortage of rhubarb from May to mid-June. The hub’s family has a 100-year-old rhubarb stand on their family farm that is quite prolific. Closer to home, we have free reign over the rhubarb at my aunt’s house, and in a pinch are even able to go next door and take what we need from the stand at the neighbor’s.
The rhubarb from the hub’s family is a gorgeous bright red color, with a pale green center and lines of green running through some of the stalks. They are huge, most stalks are easily 1″ or more in size, and even cut are 15″-18″ long. One or two stalks cut up is about equal to a cup, so a boxful from the ILs goes a long way.
With the batch of rhubarb the hub brought back from his parents I made two loaves of rhubarb bread (those lasted about 36 hours in our house).
One strawberry rhubarb pie, that lasted just over 36 hours (and was possibly my breakfast and my lunch one day. Possibly.)
Then, keeping with the strawberry rhubarb theme, I tried my hand at making strawberry rhubarb preserves. The recipe I used was pectin-free, and other than having to simmer about 30 minutes longer than I anticipated in order to cook down, turned out fabulously.
The recipe stated it made 10 4-ounce jars, but, in reality, I only got four jars. Two four-ounce jelly jars and two pint jars. Still, not a bad haul. We’ve already finished one jar.
The jam used up the rhubarb we’d gotten from the ILs (and the hub had to run next door and snag a handful of stalks so I’d have enough to do the jam). A few weeks later I went over to my aunt’s and grabbed two dozen stalks or so to make another pie.
This time I figured I’d use the rhubarb pie recipe my aunt gave me, that was my grandmother’s. Only I didn’t quite read the recipe right and made a rhubarb meringue pie. It was extremely delicious, albeit somewhat tart, the crust was one of the better crusts I’ve done and the meringue whipped up perfectly. Only, in talking with my aunt, I realized the egg whites were supposed to get mixed in with the filling to make more of a custard pie instead of whipped up to make meringue. Oops. I’ll have to try it the other way sometime.
Rhubarb season is pretty much over for the year. Any longer, the stalks get too tough and the flavor isn’t as good. I did manage to make and freeze two batches of strawberry rhubarb pie filling that I’ll use in pies for the foodstand during the fair. Otherwise, once the jam is gone, I’ll just have to wait until next May to get my fix.