Rhubarb thrives in a cool spring. A snowstorm on the first of May qualifies as cool, if not cold, right? My rhubarb sure thinks so. It’s sending out shoots right and left and center, and going to seed, too. I keep pulling the stalks that are flowering, and the next day I ask myself, “Self, did I miss that one yesterday?” Truth is, the plant wants to reproduce, and it keeps trying.
Yesterday I spent much of the day picking, cleaning, and chopping rhubarb. I filled the sink with stalks, topped the compost heap with those huge leaves, and ran two batches through the food processor. Eventually, I dumped all the chopped rhubarb into a big bowl and covered it up for the night.
Today I tried three new recipes: Rhubarb Slush, Rhubarb-Ginger Jam, and Rhubarb Pie Filling. The slush was pretty easy. It’s in the freezer now, and I take it out and stir it about once an hour to prevent it turning into a block of rhubarb-flavored ice.
The Jam and the Pie Filling should have been easy. After all, I’ve made jams and jellies for years, and pie filling is just like a chunky applesauce, right? Right – sort of. I managed to print both recipes with metric measurements. Our stubborn United States insists on using the old fashioned “customary” measurement system, so I had to work to interpret the amounts on these two British style recipes. Fortunately, I have a scale that can measure in grams, and my glass measuring cups have metric measures on the side opposite the customary.
The end results were excellent. I’ll definitely make these again. In fact, I may need to do it again in a few weeks if the weather continues and the rhubarb continues to grow like a bush. The metric recipes, in fact, were for small batches. I will probably double them – or more, if the rhubarb plants keep thriving.
Readers, I wouldn’t mind hearing your rhubarb stories. The plant (a vegetable, not a fruit, I’m told) can be legendary.