February 2010

Talked to my Mother in British Columbia today, and out there they are debating whether or not to cut the grass. I get a bit jealous hearing this, as we are still looking at an awful lot of snow here in Ontario. Awhile yet to go for me, until rhubarb season.

One of the good things she did tell me, was that she made a rhubarb pie last week from one of the recipes on the site. Didn't ask her which one though. I wonder if it was drippy?

My mother is an excellent cook and baker among other things. Her fruit pies are out of this world, and also fairly runny.

Does this change the taste? Absolutely not. Is this a bad thing? I don't think so at all.

It brings to mind though, those who add way too much flour to their fillings to prevent this runniness and you can actually "taste" it.

The filling to me turns very bland, too thick, almost what I call "glue-y", and loses alot of that natural great taste.

Please go easy on thickeners, and stick with the measurement.

Always loved your pies mom...and thanks for making a rhubarb one.

(Rhubarb is not on her list of priorities, but at least I know she's thinking about it)

The Rhubarb Honey Pie

3 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (set aside)

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl

2 eggs

2 tblsp. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 cup white sugar

1 cup liquid honey

1 1/2 tsp. orange zest

2 9-inch pie shells; use the second shell as lattice for the top.

Lay the rhubarb pieces evenly in the shell, and pour all ingredients over top. Cover the top with your lattice pieces.

Bake in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes. Let cool well before slicing.

Did you know that...

Rhubarb in Alaska is like talking about apples in Washington State.

Alaskan producers are very serious about their "Alaskan Apple."

It can barely be kept on-hand, and the demand far outweighs the supply, according to some growers there. Apparently 5 years ago, this was not the case, but things have changed. There is more demand from chefs than what can be supplied.

5" containers containing 1 rhubarb plant go for $12.00 each.

Because of the long hours of daylight, and wonderful soil, rhubarb can be grown quite well in Alaska.

And so, Alaska is on a mission to do just that.

There are many producers, and Ruby Peck-Hollambaek of Delta Junction, a lifelong resident teacher, farmer, and rancher, encourages growing it, offering it for sale to restaurants, and supporting the rhubarb industry there in general.

One great tip I read on Ruby's blog (which was passed on to her) was "lay a salmon under a rhubarb plant, and it will feed it for ten years."

Interesting concept.

You can keep up with rhubarb production in Alaska by visiting AK Rhubarb Blogspot

Canada Red Rhubarb

Another tip or two to remember if you are growing or going to grow Canada red rhubarb this season.

Because it is sweeter, it needs less sugar when cooking. It's very red and it's the one to look for if it's the visual appeal of the color you want for your pies.

Also, in a warmer climate, these plants do well with less shade, but the stems will be long and thin. Don't panic, or worry about the thickness if you think it isn't just right. It's fine for the conditions it's in.

Until next time,




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