December 2010

What a difference a month makes!

This time last month, I was wondering how I was ever going to get things done for Christmas. Now, I'm sitting in front of the tree; we have snow, and it's cold here in Ontario.

Found time to find some neat little odds and ends though to pass on to you for this month.

Christmas Rhubarb - Cranberry Compote

This recipe comes from "Food52" and was entered as a recipe originally as a Thanksgiving dessert. I think it's quite appropriate for Christmas, and it differs from the one at "Holiday Baking" on the website. By the way, the "bitters" takes the place of pumpkin spice.

1 bunch chunk of chopped rhubarb for your saucepan

2 each: - peeled and cored apples and pears

1 1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1/2 cup rhubarb cider

2 tblsp. white sugar

1 tblsp. orange zest

2 tsp. Angostura bitters

Combine the cider, sugar and orange zest and bring to almost boiling. Add the pears and apples next. Gently cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the rhubarb and continue cooking until it begins softening.

Now add the cranberries and bitters.

The cranberries will burst open when ready. This can take anywhere from one - two minutes. Add more sugar and bitters after a little taste test.

This compote can be put over ice cream, or a plain or pound cake.


How about something fancy Christmas morning? Quick and tasty too.

You may have seen a variation of this in previous newsletters but in case you missed it, here it is a bit differently.

Mix up a little rhubarb compote - chop up a bunch, add lemon zest and a half cup of maple syrup. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes, until rhubarb is nice and soft. Set aside.

I think most of us know how to make French Toast. If not, mix a an egg, some milk, and a dash of vanilla in a bowl. Whisk it well, and dip bread well on both sides. Place it in a well heated frying pan and cook it. (Like making a grilled cheese)

Lightly dust your french toast with a bit of icing sugar, spoon on some rhubarb-maple compote, and top with a spoonful of yogurt.

The Divine Rhubarb Committee - Lanesboro

Members of the Divine Rhubarb Committee were signing their cookbook called "Everything Rhubarb: Recipes and Stories from a Small Town that Celebrates Rhubarb" on different dates just after Thanksgiving.

The third signing will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Sons of Norway in Lanesboro. If you are from the area, don't miss it.

This book features approximately 100 rhubarb recipes, some of them were featured at the Lanesboro annual Rhubarb Festival.

These recipes reflect an equal emphasis on the sweet and savory sides of rhubarb delights and a section on the basics — sauce and juice. The book costs $15.

Tip From A Top Chef

Rhubarb, coffee and beef

Steve Mitton, chef of Murray Street in Ottawa, likes to make a rhubarb espresso purée, which he combines with ground espresso and rubs onto beef ribs before braising them, especially when rhubarb is in season.

“You’ve got a beautiful bitterness in the coffee – that rich, roasted sort of flavour that gives depth to just about everything,” he says.

Meanwhile, the rhubarb helps tenderize the meat and gives it an edge. “I always use some sort of a vinegar when I’m braising, and if I can use a natural that has that tartness to it, then all the better.”

Interesting concept.

Familiar with Kate Moss, the Supermodel?

In late November, she launched a new fragrance of perfume -"Vintage Muse" and was on hand in London England to autograph the bottles for eager buyers.

This latest fragrance of hers contains scents of peony, violet, plum, black current cream, chocolate, and you guessed it, - rhubarb.

I've read a number of reviews. One reviewer decided it smelled like something I'd rather not repeat, and she attributed that to the rhubarb.

The rest of the reviewers however, said they loved it and were quickly adding this perfume to their Christmas wish-list.

I haven't had the opportunity to get a "whiff" so I certainly can't say. But, I figure if rhubarb is good enough to eat, it's good enough to wear.

On that note, I wish all of you over the next few weeks a very safe, healthy and happy Christmas Holiday, and very best wishes for 2011.

Note Re "Savor The Rhubarb Website"

The site is undergoing some structural and technical changes over the next little while, in order to freshen things up and just be a bit better overall. So, if anything looks odd or out of place, it's only temporary, and please bear with me.

Until next time,




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