Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beth Battles Rhubarb...

....and wins!

Rhubarb. It's never something I have enjoyed. I vaguely remember the old people of my youth eating a bit of it in the Spring when I was little. I really don't know what they did with it. I wasn't interested.

When it started coming home in our harvest basket a couple of summers ago it was time to revisit this "old fashioned" plant. I think we might have put it in a pie or crisp but admittedly I was glad when it came no more. (Ironically what do you see if you follow my link to the Cooley Family farm, but some nicely arranged rhubarb on the picture on their home page. See what I mean; it's everywhere.)

This year we are trying to grow more food ourselves and haven't purchased a harvest basket subscription. We will buy what we want at the Farmer's Market to supplement what we can grow or glean ourselves. With Spring upon us we begin the odyssey of eating seasonally in a more enthusiastic way. Enthusiastic that is, until *rhubarb* finds us once again!

This time it falls into the gleaning category; while stopping by my in-laws' they asked, "Want some rhubarb?" Seasonal eating here we come. We couldn't say no.

What to do with this stuff? Looks like celery. Kind of stinks when you cut it up. Appetizing....

But after consulting my favorite "what to do with this weird -uh seasonal- vegetable" cookbook, I decided to try "Rhubarb Almond Flake." The almond part of the title was promising, and it looked like it had enough good stuff in it that maybe even rhubarb would turn out OK.

So I mixed up a pastry of flour, shortening, baking powder, eggs and milk. I covered it with 1/2 of a sugary mixture, the rhubarb, and the other half of the pastry topping.

THEN I remembered that I hadn't sprinkled on the other rather substantial half of the sugar mixture. Really. When dealing with anything as sour as rhubarb, forgetting half the sugar could be catastrophic. With Wes' help, it took 4 hands to uncover the bottom pastry and throw in the sugar; crisis averted!

Then I mixed up the almonds (a very good thing) with melted butter, sugar and vanilla

which gave me hope that this whole concoction could end up brilliant in SPITE of rhubarb.



RacineDKringle said...

That looks super tasty!

There is a recipe for a custardy-milk pie that's been calling to me - I think it would be a lovely use of our milk supply and be great with a rhubarb compote on top!

Brent said...

Lord have mercy and protect us, i've been eating rhubarb for breakfast....really, I just ate this for my breakfast. So very good! Thanks, Honey.

Elizabeth said...

Took me a while to find that recipe, Ms. Kringle...but while looking for it I found a really compelling looking cinnamon bread recipe...I don't think I've looked in the brown section before (which is not where I found the pie, which also looks good!) Oh me oh many good things to cook!

RacineDKringle said...

I made some rhubarb/honey/cinnamon saucey stuff with my farmers market rhubarb haul - it was awfully tasty over a slice of soda bread (and some yogurt on the side).

I have to find a way to work it into something savory. I think maybe its next incarnation will be as a sauce with some red pepper flakes drizzled lightly on a pork chop.

Next will probably be rhubarb bread! Then maybe.. rhubarb.. er, pasta? ;P Rhubarb bacon? =D