October 2009

It feels like winter coats will be coming out very early here in Ontario.

The temperature has certainly changed, and my husband finally has his wish. His beloved woodstove is blazing, and though I try to tell him it is still a bit much yet, he won't listen.

A few things have been happening in the world of rhubarb, not in my world actually, but some people have been winning with theirs.

Like an all-expense-paid trip to Singapore? Who wouldn't?

You would have had to have been a bartender at the New Zealand Bartenders Guild National Cocktail competition recently.

Everton Silva won in the freestyle/flair category, in which competing bartenders had to entertain by juggling bottles, and at the same time, create a really tasty cocktail.

His "Rhubarb Rhumba" took the top award. This cocktail is inspired by lemon and rhubarb pie, and made from vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice and rhubarb foam. Sounds like an interesting drink.

Mr. Silva was one of two people who will represent New Zealand at the 2010 International Bartenders Association competition. Contratulations and Good luck 1n 2010 Everton.

Speaking of awards, Frobishers, well known in the juice industry and taken over by "Cobell" won gold recently in the UK's Taste of the West Awards, with their "apple damson rhubarb juicebox."

They actually won two awards with their apple and raspberry drink as well. The company is ecstatic because this is a real "seal of approval" from Taste of the West.

The judges were wowed by the blends, and voted them outstanding in the non-alcoholic category.

The products, produced in Devon, sell online and at Darts Farm in Topsham.

Heard of berry-bit cranberries?

They are kind of tart, with just 75% of the acidity removed, but the juice stays intact. This is done with a vacuum method.

Johnathan Smith, a business owner (Alpine Foods) asked chefs what the problem was with cranberries, to which they said they were too tart, and basically couldn't be used in recipes, or tossed into a salad. Bakers have always had problems with this.

Mr. Smith (who has a PHD in growing) found a way to transform cranberries with his vacuum idea, and now you can eat these berries out of your hand, toss them in cereal or a salad, and make desserts using alot less sugar.

When asked about the thought of doing this with rhubarb, he implied it would be interesting to think about. This would definately be something to look forward to if it ever happens.

Ever get enough of the Crisp Recipes? Try this one with pecans.

Pecan Rhubarb Crisp

Preheat oven to 350, and grease or place a piece of parchment paper in an 8" square baking dish.

Spread 4 cups of chopped rhubarb evenly in the bottom of your pan.


1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pecans (pieces)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup oats
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix well and then drop by large spoonfuls over the rhubarb.

Bake 45 minutes or until rhubarb is bubbling up from the bottom. Let cool ten minutes and serve with whipped cream, vanilla ice-cream, or plain by itself.

Rhubarb Peach Jam That Freezes Well

4 cups diced rhubarb
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 tsp. orange zest
*peaches with juice
*however many you like

Chop skinned peaches and combine all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.

Cover bowl with waxed paper, and cook on high approximately 8 or 10 minutes.

Remove the paper and cook on high another 20 or 25 minutes until really syrupy. Check frequently in the last ten minutes.

Let cool, and pour into jam jars to be stored.

Every year, we have an early Thanksgiving dinner at my mother-in-law's cottage, as a family get together. In addition to the reason for the dinner itself, it signifies the end of the "summer season."

We seem to have it earlier and earlier every year, but with the change-over to Fall that seems to be happening more and more abruptly, it's nice to eat outside while you still can.

We have eaten early Thanksgiving dinners with the snow falling, so you just never know. One of the desserts this year in addition to the traditional pumpkin pie, was a rhubarb-strawberry, and of course my eyes lit up! I was going to put up another variation (there are so many), but I re-thought this after reading an article earlier this week.

Some people are experiencing some tough times, maybe a little more than usual. So, with thoughts of Thanksgiving in mind, share what you have. If you have extra produce that you could part with, please do it. There are shelters, food banks, or maybe your next- door neighbour could really use a little extra anytime, and not just because it's getting closer to Thanksgiving. A bag, or a small basket can go a long way for someone.

So, I will leave you with that thought, instead of an extra recipe if you don't mind.

Remember, please feel free to contribute your Rhubarb Family Favorite pie or any recipe if you would like. The more the merrier. You can always do this anytime at Best Rhubarb Recipes

Until Next Time,



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