May 2010

This time last month, I mentioned about how ahead weather-wise we are in Ontario, but never be too quick to assume.

Tonight, we are waiting for some snow.

Yes, it's in the forecast, and we can't believe it. I'm sure it won't amount to anything, but there go the tips of my hostas already I guess. I did cover my rhubarb, as I would prefer it didn't freeze.

Hard to imagine, when people are out walking now, trying to trim down a bit. Speaking of trimming down, here is a sugar-free rhubarb-strawberry pie to try out.

Combine the following ingredients:

3 cups chopped rhubarb
4 tblsp. flour
pinch of salt, pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup Simply Fruit strawberry spread

Place in the bottom of an unbaked 9 inch pie shell
Layer 2 cups of sliced strawberries over top
Dot with very minimal butter
Decorate with pastry cutouts, or lattice strips

Bake at 350F. for 50 minutes; remove, and sprinkle with 2 packages of "Equal"

Strawberries are so popular paired with rhubarb, and I think it would be helpful to talk briefly about how to look after them too while they are in the refrigerator.

Keep them unwashed, as that quickens spoilage. Rinse just before eating. Try to eat within 2 or 3 days, and you will really appreciate their texture, flavor, and avoid molding.

If you need to do something really quick with your strawberries and rhubarb...

Quickly mix equal parts of strawberries and rhubarb, add a bit of sugar and a basic crumb topping. Microwave until the rhubarb is soft, and the mixture is bubbling. You've just made a really fast "crisp" and saved throwing it into the garbage instead.

A tip and reminder, courtesy of Ellen Ecker Ogden, Author of The Complete Kitchen Garden

She says that 1 good rhubarb plant is ample for a family of 4, and if you have more plants, please remember how big that foliage can get. Remember to leave room around more than one crown.

Rips In Rhubarb Leaves

Someone has written about seeing some small rips in their rhubarb leaves, and would this be attributed to bugs, or is it just from the unfolding stage?

Well, I have looked at my rhubarb opening, and I'm going to say it could just be the unfurling stage.
I don't see bugs anywhere, it certainly looks healthy enough, we've had a touch of frost here and there, and we've had some winds. I personally don't think it's something to be too concerned about at this point. Those leaves are wound pretty tightly, and are certainly delicate enough.

I would keep an eye on them though, just to be sure.

Wegmans, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods

This month, I came across a post about rhubarb, which was part of a question and answer section all about food in general.

Someone was writing in about desperately looking for some rhubarb, fresh or frozen and where to get it? These three names came up the most as responses. So, maybe this information will help someone out there who is looking right now for some rhubarb and can't find any. Farmer's Markets are starting to be in full swing as well in many places.

Organic Rhubarb In Colorado

A new post was also put up on the site this month about organic rhubarb. If you missed it, have a look.

There is a farm in Colorado where you can pick your own, or they will pick for you. They have a good business going that is producing rhubarb very well, and they ship seeds too.

A reader wrote in and raved about their services, so I thought I would share this with you.

You can read the article at

Organic Rhubarb

BBQ season is upon us, and I would also like to share a recipe that is made by Susan Jessop, Chef and Owner of 42 Fine Foods in Ottawa.

She likes to use maple syrup as a white sugar substitute, and uses it in this mixture with meats.

There were no measurements. I am assuming it's all to your taste, and it's one of those recipes that you can't really screw up, as long as some of the ingredients are used "reasonably."

The mixture is simply written as follows:

Chopped rhubarb, carmelized onions, cider vinegar, maple syrup, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper, pinch of chili pepper.

I would think it could all be put into a saucepan on low heat until the rhubarb cooks down to a soft texture, and then cooled and refrigerated. Sounds good.

I am rather excited this Spring...I'm stealing Hubby's "spot" - the place where he so lovingly tosses all his yard "junk" where he thinks I don't notice. Oh, but I do. And since the crowns in my barrel are too close, I think it's the perfect spot for another new rhubarb patch.

Unless we are in winter-wonderland again suddenly, this is my project this week-end.

Until next time,




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