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Just found a great site (http://www.acreagelife.com/rural-living-articles/rhubarb) about rhubarb. To quote the author: “I decided long ago that rhubarb was the reason that God invented sugar.”
Below is a copy of one of the recipes posted to their site.
Rhubarb Smothered Chicken
3-4 pounds chicken, cut into serving size pieces
2 Tbs. Flour
¼ c. vegetable oil
5 ½ c. fresh-cut rhubarb, 1″ chunks
3 cups sliced onions
3 cloves minced garlic
1-2 bay leaves
½ tsp. thyme
1 ½ c. white wine
¼ c. chopped fresh parsley
Put season salt and flour into a large Ziploc bag and toss the chicken pieces, 2-3 at a time to coat. Fry the chicken for 6 – 8 minutes per side. Once all the chicken is cooked, remove to a plate. Add the rhubarb and onions to the pan and sauté until the onions become browned. Stir frequently. Once this is cooked down, add the garlic, herbs, wine, and chicken on top. Cover and braise for 45 minutes until the chicken is completely tender. Stir in more parsley and serve with rice and parsley.
Here’s another suggestion from Merilee for using Rhubarb, along with some Rhubarb facts.
Electric juicer: juice stalks, strain using cheesecloth.
Let stand several minutes. Skim foam from surface.
For every 2 cups rhubarb liquid ~ add 1 cup sugar and 6 cups water, stir until sugar dissolves.
For every 2 cups rhubarb liquid, the yield is 2 quarts.
One of the 1st spring offerings of the garden
Related to the dock plant, a common weed.
Believed to have originated in China 4000 years ago, where it was used as medicine.
Russia was the first to use rhubarb as a food.
The English began their love affair with rhubarb in pies, tarts and sauces.
Only the stalks are edible, the leaves are highly toxic due to the oxalic acid content.
The stalks are extremely acidic and sour.
It’s high in vitamins A and C and a variety of minerals, particularly, calcium.
Rhubarb is believed to be a beneficial blood purifier and digestive aid.
This year we’ve been selling our rhubarb at many of the Farmer’s markets. We’re often asked why the rhubarb is primarily green. Well, there are many varieties of rhubarb: MacDonald, Cherry, Strawberry and Victoria. The first 3 varieties are red; Victoria is primarily green. In spite of planting a red variety, ours grows green. Some of our customers have shared similar experiences. Perhaps it’s the climate or soil.
Rhubarb can be harvested in its 3rd year and pulled for 4 to 8 weeks. Stalks should not be cut with a knife as this makes the end of the stem rot. Simply grasp the stalk down near its base and yank sideways.
Rhubarb has a “select” following. Those who already love it are familiar with its many uses. Those unfamiliar with it can be won over with an offering of recipes. I recently found a wonderful website called the Rhubarb Compendium: http:www.rhubarbinfo.com. It holds a wealth of recipes for jams, pies, cakes and cobblers. I’ve made Remarkable Rhubarb Bites several times with great success. Here’s the recipe. Hints: insert a toothpick minutes before baking ends and if it comes out clean, it’s done; score the Bites before they cool. Consider serving with ice cream. Happy baking!
Remarkable Rhubarb Bites
2 cups diced rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together rhubarb and 1/2 cup sugar. Set aside. Cream shortening, remaining 1/2 cup sugar and brown sugar. Add egg and then stir in baking soda, salt, cinnamon and flour. Stir in vanilla, then rhubarb mixture.
Place batter in a greased and floured 13×9″ baking pan and bake for 40-45 min. Let cool, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and cut into 2″ squares.