Thursday, May 19, 2016

For the Love of Rhubarb #DomesticGoddess

I love rhubarb--I always have. My birthday is in July and when I was a kid I'd ask for rhubarb pie instead of birthday cake. My Gram Werner had the best rhubarb plant. She said it was descendant of the rhubarb her father brought from the Old Country and for years when any of us went off to live somewhere new she would give us a rhubarb plant taken from hers for us to plant. I have planted Great-grandpa Wolfel's rhubarb in three different states.

These days I get rhubarb wherever I can--from neighbors gardens, farm stands, the grocery store. And I always make the same thing, rhubarb sauce like Gram Werner's except, once it is cooked, I take a lot of liberties. The basic sauce is simple. Wash, trim, and cut the rhubarb into bite-sized pieces. Put them in a nice heavy pot with a well-fitting lid, or in a crockpot. Add a teensy bit of water--just enough to keep it from burning, and cook on low until the rhubarb forms a sauce. Add whatever sweetener you like and serve hot or cold. The sweetener can be a lot of things. Gram would have used sugar but I don't. Mostly I use a combination of honey and stevia and keep tasting it. It will get sweeter as it cools so don't sweeten too much. My mother used to ad 2 or 3 boxes of strawberry jello while it was still hot--sugar-free or regular. This makes a lovely semi-sweet sauce that thickens up nicely.

Once I had a large jar of strawberry jam that was much too sweet for my taste. I stirred it into sauce made from 3 lbs. of rhubarb and it was perfect. I've also added frozen cherries or raspberries or strawberries. Taste as you go because you don't want to lose that rhubarb tartness.

Rhubarb sauce can be frozen but will also keep in the fridge for quite awhile--assuming you can leave it alone. It is delicious on ice cream, pancakes, pound cake, pork chops, waffles, cheesecake--really just about anything. My absolute favorite way is on graham crackers spread with cream cheese.

In recent years people have been substituting apple sauce in muffins and cakes in place of oil. You can do the same thing with rhubarb sauce and the taste is delicious. I made raspberry muffins with rhubarb sauce and they were out of this world. Rhubarb is also very good for you. It is low in calories and carbohydrates, high in fiber, and has a healthy dose of Vitamins A & C as well as potassium, calcium, and magnesium.

It's almost summer and the rhubarb is growing. Enjoy!

4 comments:

  1. Some great ideas here, Kathleen. I love rhubarb too - in fact I'm growing rhubarb for the first time and I can't wait for it to be ready for harvesting!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

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  2. Thanks, Susan. I'm just crazy about it and it's so good for you, too.

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  3. I've never tried rhubarb. My birthday is in July, too.

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  4. I obviously love it but it might be an acquired taste!

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