Well, today is another "not so bad" day in what has felt like forever that we can actually function and breath here in Ontario. (and my ankles aren't the size of balloons for a change either!)
I hope others are enjoying this break from the brutally humid and hot weather we've been experiencing. Apparently it won't last, but I'll take any break gladly.
Here's a recipe I wish I'd seen last week.
Strawberry Rhubarb Creamsicles
Combine in a small pot:
2 cups chopped rhubarb stalks
1 lb. hulled strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then reduce to simmer and let thicken while cooking for 15 minutes.
Pour this mixture into a bowl and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
In a separate bowl - Whisk:
2 cups plain yogurt
1/3 cup sugar
Now alternately, pour the rhubarb mixture and yogurt mixture into 4 oz. popsicle containers. If you don't have these containers, small 5 oz. paper cups will do.
With a knife, "swirl" the mixtures together, but don't overdo. Just swirl, don't "mix."
Place a popsicle stick in the centre and freeze for 6 hours. These will keep in the freezer for 2 weeks.
You've heard of the "Rhubarb Lady?"
Which one, you might be asking. England has theirs, there are numerous rhubarb ladies in the US depending on who you talk to, and now there is one in Australia.
Meet Di McDonald from the Tahbilk Estate Winery in Nagambie.
She points out a few interesting things - You may not like rhubarb, but try another variety. And, how it is cooked can have something to do with your opinion of rhubarb as well. In a pan with raw sugar is best she says.
She grows 2 varieties on 10 acres, (7000 plants) and she participates faithfully selling it every Saturday.
Her rhubarb is organic, no chemicals, and she uses the cut off leaves to produce quality soil.
She must be doing something right as she delivers deep red, juicy and sweet rhubarb that people want.
Di’s Rhubarb is sold at Gasworks, Collingwood Children’s Farm, Vegout St Kilda and Slow Food Abbotsford Farmer’s Markets.
And now meet the Rhubarb King of Jewell Gardens, Skagway Alaska.
"Her" name is Tina Cyr, whose rhubarb in this years Rhubarb Festival was apparently huge in stem and leaf size.
The first Rhubarb King in Skagway was Henry Clark who had the first crop farm in Alaska. His rhubarb was tall, popular, and known for making great pies. It was this crop that helped promote Skagway to be known as the Garden City of Skagway.
Have you heard of RAGBRAI? I hadn't, but when I noticed the wording in an article that said "the rhubarb pies were one type of pie that went the fastest" I had to find out what this was about.
RAGBRAI stands for "The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa" which is a 39 year old annual event and lasts for 7 days. Of all the longest bicycle touring events in the world, this is the largest, longest and oldest event. It is known as an Iowa tradition.
As many as 75 volunteers from the Churdan community were asked to bake pie as riders make numerous stops to eat along the way. It was hard, but successful and a great way to bring a small community together.
As one rider named Jason said "You race to get to the rhubarb before it's gone; it's something you just don't get to eat everyday." He missed it at Churdan and went with apple pie instead. He also said "you have to keep your eyes open for it, because they don't sell it in every town. I'll get out earlier tomorrow for that rhubarb."
Peach and Rhubarb Pie
Makes two, for top and bottom crust.
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup Butter Crisco
Cut shortening into flour until it resembles course cornmeal.
Add 5 tblsp. ice cold water.
Mix, form ball, then cut into two even chunks and roll out.
Rhubarb Peach Filling
3 cups rhubarb chopped
2 cups fresh sliced peaches
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
4 tablespoons butter
Combine rhubarb, peaches, sugar, flour and pinch of salt. Let stand 15 minutes or 20 minutes.
Using the 9-inch pie plate, fill with pastry. Fill with fruit mixture. Dot with butter on top.
Lay top crust over top and seal edges. Bake at 375 degrees until it bubbles in the center and turns golden brown. Cover the
edges with foil if browning too quickly.
If you have some extra rhubarb, try this Swedish Rhubarb Sauce.
Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of sugar in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add 3 cups chopped rhubarb.
Turn it down to medium heat and boil gently for 5 minutes. Add 2 tsp. of cornstarch and 1 tblsp. water (mixed).
Simmer on low until thickened.
"Nice sauce over oven baked chicken."
Fall is coming - You may not want to hear that, but....
Rhubarb should be divided in Spring or Fall as it ages. This is good for the plants to produce thicker stalks, instead of them remaining thin and small.
Too much water creates crown rot. Watch for decayed or bad spots and remove them before replanting.
Remember those rhubarb strawberry creamsicles?
and you'll see the "delicious" pictures. This site specializes in lots of family type recipes with easy to follow directions. Give them a visit.
I mentioned the prices of rhubarb last month; thanks to those who wrote in about what they pay. Clearly, rhubarb is expensive in some parts.
We welcome any special tips/advice/stories/ about your rhubarb you might care to share! Please feel to do so at
Until next time,