Back to Back Issues Page
Rhubarb Lovers, Issue #40 Bits and Pieces
January 01, 2013

Hi Rhubarb Lovers and Happy New Year!

Another year has come and gone, and I hope the new one brings nothing but good things to all of you.

I bet many of you were so busy doing what was needed to be done to make "Christmas" happen. Making it all come together, ie most of the preparation and the dismantling of it all now falls on me at my house. ("because you do it so much better" he says.) Hmmm....

The December events however in Newtown Connecticut had sadly and quite abruptly made my own xmas anxieties this year suddenly seem so meaningless and trivial in comparison. Sometimes we have to stop and think hard about that. And we're a little more grateful I think because of it. Enough said.

2012 Rhubarb
I wasn't very happy overall with my rhubarb plants. They were ok but I've seen better. How about you?

Some stalks were a little spindly I thought; some plants didn't take off (grown bigger) like they should have. I've heard of other people complaining of the same. The answer could be lack of manure mulch, which I could have done better in that department and should have. What wasn't a problem though was throwing rhubarb leaves on a compost pile.

This question gets asked over and over because of the concern over toxicity, and personally, I still say it's ok. Here is what you don't want to do though - don't throw in plants that have disease or are invasive. Being diseased speaks for itself. As for invasives, these plants won't break down to be destroyed by the heat of the compost heap. They will germinate and start growing little plants you don't want all over the place.

Anyway, back to the so-so rhubarb - if your rhubarb has been in the same spot for 5 years, it might be time to consider dividing in the spring and pour the manure to it.

Finding Rhubarb

Another popular question? Where to find rhubarb. It appears rather elusive in Las Vegas so they say, but one lady has reported finding it at "Smith's" at 830 S. Boulder Highway in Henderson. She said the manager has promised to get more in.

If you are ever having trouble, call the specialty markets or organic stores in your area and they might be able to point you or order it. Whenever you see frozen bags, especially if it isn't that common in your area, buy up a bunch. It won't go bad!

Rhubarb Aids Charity
In the mood for yogurt? Is there a "Yogurtland" location near you? Pop in, choose the strawberry rhubarb-tart (of course) and work towards completing a stamped card. For every completed card, Yogurtland makes a donation to Hurricane Sandy Children in Emergencies Fund. The funds will be used to replace school supplies and rebuild day care centers so damaged by that storm.

I'm not sure if this promotion only ran through the Holiday season or not, so check it out anyway.

Fighting Cancer with Candles

Here's a fact I bet most of us didn't know. PartyLite candle company has been partnered with the American Cancer Society for the last fourteen years facilitating contributions of more than $13 million. Everytime someone buys a strawberry-rhubarb Glolite candle, a portion of the money goes to this Organization.

For the Wine Lovers
Now if you are a wine lover and I know many of you are, check out Talon Wine Brands in the Colorado area. This winery recently won 21 medals at an international competition in Denver. Their company which includes The Meadery and Kathryn's Cellar grabbed 10 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals.

Strawberry Rhubarb took a gold, so obviously it's a hit and worth trying.

The Reverend

Been to the Seersucker Bar in Brooklyn lately? (I haven't LOL), but... $11.00 pays for a drink called "The Reverend." Here's how it's made if you want to try it at home.

You will need: Bourbon, rhubarb bitters, black pepper syrup, orange peel garnish.

Recipe for Black Pepper Syrup:

1 part hot water, 1 part sugar, 1/4 part ground pepper.

Method for Mixing this drink:

Mix 2 oz. of the bourbon and 1/4 oz black pepper syrup. Add 4 dashes of bitters, plenty of ice and stir lightly. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

The Rhubarb Run

It's a bit early but Lanesboro Minnesota is advertising a Pre-Registration "now" for the Rhubarb Run at their Rhubarb Festival June 1st 2013 9:00 a.m. This festival is pretty famous, and what do I know? Maybe registration fills up fast? Anyway, go to the website at for more info.

Red running shoes and costumes are encouraged. Tons of treats for sampling promised. Race finishers get the "Grand Rhubarb Treatment" which consists of a serenade of accordian music, ceremonial fanning with rhubarb leaves, a reviving shot of rhubarb elixir, and the winners get to take home a fresh rhubarb pie.

This is a family-friendly, kid-friendly event, and all proceeds go to the Lanesboro Public Library.

Speaking of rhubarb pie, here's a recipe for Rhubarb Cream Pie (JBugs Kitchen) that uses a single pillsbury dough crust. Great idea if you have trouble making your own from scratch.

Rhubarb Cream Pie - Preheat oven to 400 F.

Combine the following ingredients:

2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs beaten

Pinch salt

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 heaping tablespoons all purpose flour (See note below)

Fold in 3 cups diced rhubarb
Pour mixture into 9 inch unbaked pie shell; place on cookie sheet in case of drips.

Bake 10 minutes at 400 F., and then reduce to 350 F. Bake another 45 or 50 minutes. Filling should form a nice gold top crust. Let cool well before serving.

Note – when using frozen rhubarb, increase flour to 3 heaping tablespoons and bake for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

Like Caramel? Try it drizzled over Rhubarb Cheesecake Bars.

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup soft butter
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
12 oz cream cheese - room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups of chopped rhubarb

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9x13 pan well.

Combine butter, baking soda, salt, brown sugar, oats and flour and mix until crumbly.

Press half mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.

Now combine the eggs, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with a mixer until very well blended. Add the rhubarb, stir and spread over the crumble mixture in the pan. Spread the remaining crumble mixture over top.

Bake 45 minutes until well set in the centre. Let cool at least 30 minutes.

Chill for 3 or 4 hours in the refrigerator. Cut into bars and serve with caramel sauce drizzled over top. If you have leftovers, make sure they are refrigerated.

We always welcome any special tips/advice/stories/recipes about your rhubarb you might care to share! Please feel to do so at Rhubarb Expertise

Here's an easy rhubarb crunch done in a frying pan, but with a nice custardy vanilla sauce poured over the rhubarb just before adding the the rest of the topping.

Make your crunchy topping/base with:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup dry oatmeal
½ cup butter

Mix until creamy then spread half of the mixture on the bottom of a 9” pan.

Now add 4 cups diced (drain a bit if frozen) to the top of base layer.

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla

Blend together ingredients and cook in a frying pan until sugar well dissolved and mixture has thickened up. Pour over rhubarb. Sprinkle the rest of the topping over the rhubarb mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Best when served hot with vanilla ice-cream.

Holiday Leftovers?

If you've got dried cranberries put away in the freezer, use them up with chicken and pork. This sauce is great with turkey leftovers too!

Chunky Fruity Rhubarb Sauce

1 Green apple chopped up
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb

diced red onion
3 tblsp. dried cranberries

1/2 cup apple juice
1 tsp. ginger
large spoonful of honey
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients except for the vinegar

On medium heat...cook down at least 10 minutes, not much more..keeps rhubarb and apples from getting too soft.

Remove from heat when you think the fruit is soft but not mushy -let stand for 5 minutes and stir in the vinegar.

A wonderfully healthy, chunky and tasty sauce!

Wishing you again all the best in 2013!

Until next time,


Back to Back Issues Page