Friday, May 22, 2015

Hold the Strawberries

Photo via Wikipedia
The big red things in your box are rhubarb.  When I was a kid, and even to today, my parents had it growing in their garden.  And one of the first things from the garden after the long, cold Midwest winter broke would be the rhubarb.  My mom would make strawberry-rhubarb cobbler or pie.  It's very tart, so pairing it with something super sweet, like strawberries, works very well.

I have a very funny rhubarb story, actually.  When I first started participating in a CSA several years ago, I got a box with Swiss chard in it.  I'd never seen nor even heard of chard before, and so I thought it was just small rhubarb.  So I made a cobbler out of it with some strawberries.  The whole time, the texture wasn't exactly right, but I plowed forward anyway.  It didn't have much in the way of the tart flavor (duh), but it seemed okay.  I brought it to a church potluck.  Pastor had about 3 helpings, so I guess it was fine.  Let's hope he's not one of my loyal readers...
Photo via Taste of Home
Pairing rhubarb and strawberries works so well, in fact, that most people can hardly come up with something with rhubarb not containing strawberries (or blackberries, or another very sweet berry).  Gauntlet cast!  If you, like me, have greedily eaten all of your strawberries from last week, here are some things you can do with rhubarb without them!
  • One of my very favorite blogs to follow for canning idea is Food In Jars.  If you ever in your life want to make some jam or can anything, follow Marisa's blog.  She's written a cookbook that's well worth it, too.  Her rhubarb suggestion is rhubarb vanilla jam.  I guess you can pickle rhubarb too; seeing as I like my pickles super sour, and the combination with star anise is intriguing, I might give that a try!  
  • Sticking with the sweet theme, I've found two baked goods to try.  Naptime Chef is a wonderful blog for baked goods, another worthy one to follow.  I really want to make this rhubarb ginger buckle, and these oatmeal squares sound pretty good too.
Photo via bon appétit

    • I've found two highly promising savory recipes as well.  I'm using the rhubarb from my box this week to make a compote with pork tenderloin.  This recipe for spicy chicken with rhubarb salsa sounds fantastic, too.
    • Last but not least, don't forget cocktail hour!  Some of the Nalls staff are pretty keen on the idea of rhubarb infused vodka.  I'm planning to try out my mixology skills for a couple of blog posts later this summer, so stay tuned for that!
    Photo via Spoon Fork Bacon

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