September 2010

Amazing. From extreme humidity to Fall-like temperatures here in Ontario almost overnight.

Have you picked the last of your rhubarb for the season?

Some people freeze theirs in syrup, and some people just cut it and throw it into a freezer bag. That's what I do, and it's been just fine. If you prefer to blanche the rhubarb pieces first, try it.

They say it's a good method of retaining flavor, and here's how to do it.

Cut the rhubarb into small pieces, and put it all into a strainer. Dip the strainer into a pot of boiling water for about one minute. Remove, and immerse in cold water to stop the cooking process. Now, spread the rhubarb out on a towel or paper towel and let dry. Put into bags and throw them into the freezer.

Congrats to Caroline Buelt of Polk City, who was awarded first prize (overall) for her Godmother's Rhubarb Cake entry at the Iowa State Fair. This category was actually called "Rockin' Rhubarb for Kidz" aged 13 - 16 years of age. There was even an 8-12 aged group, and Rhubarb Tapioca Saucy Pudding and Rhubarb Delight won there.

Nice to see kids participate.

Did you know that the Iowa Fair is the largest State Fair in the US? If you visit their website, the listings of competitions go on forever, especially in the food department.

Interesting trivia from "Chris" at Amateur Traveller. He tells the story of "Hop when someone says rhubarb day." And, it's celebrated in the USA and Finland, by a very small group of people he figures. Well, the story is, he really doesn't know when it's celebrated, and he talks about a friend he knew who used to make up some very strange holidays.

He also goes on to tell of a Finnish friend who told him how in Finland, rhubarb is referred to as "raparperi" and how her native country was introduced to the holiday.

Well, I've never heard of this, but it's a humorous story.

Speaking of Finnish, here's a recipe for Finnish Rhubarb Soup.

Still some warm days coming up I'm sure in September for this cool treat.

Finnish Rhubarb Soup

2 cups of water

2 1/2 cups chopped small rhubarb pieces

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cinnamon stick

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let simmer.

Mix 2 tblsp. water and 2 tblsp. of cornstarch together, and gently stir into the soup. Let simmer until the soup clears, and remove the cinnamon stick.

Remove from heat, let cool, and refrigerate.

Serve in flat soup bowls, and garnish with whipped cream.

Here's a little reminder from the Winnipeg Free Press - Real Estate Section if you are moving, and worried about leaving your rhubarb behind. You don't have to.

Use a large pot or container at least 25 cm. in diameter, which will allow for root growth. Use sterilized potting soil if possible. Make sure to get a good piece of the crown with a good chunk of the roots, and plant the crown no more than 2 1/2 cm. below the surface of the soil.

Keep your container in full sun, until you can get it replanted. Some say division is best done in Spring, but works for many people in the Fall as well.

Looking for a quick pie and need to use up some bisquick? (Love bisquick!)

Put 3 cups of chopped rhubarb into a well greased 10" baking pan.

Combine the following ingredients well:

2 1/2 tblsp. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cup white sugar
pinch salt
pinch ginger
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup bisquick

Pour mixture on top of the rhubarb, let it soak in for a few minutes. Bake 45 minutes at 375 degrees F. Enjoy!

Garrison Keillor, of "Prairie Home Companion" fame, got a great review from his "Summer of Love" tour stop in Salt Lake City recently. Though the weather was bad, it was well worth the wait according to those who waited for him to appear. They were treated to his storytelling, some music, and some characters from the PHC show. The "sponsors" of the Prairie Home Companion also made their way to the show, with thanks to the Ketchup Advisory Board, Powdermilk biscuits, and of course, ...

Be-Bop-A-Ree-Bop Rhubarb Pie - "one little thing can revive a guy, and that's a piece of rhubarb pie."

Until next time,




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