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Rhubarb
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: Rhubarb Reply with quote

Made the first rhubarb crisp of the season yesterday and was in rhubarb heaven. Just a simple dish but so fresh and lively! But crisp and pie and sauce can be overdone so I was just wondering if anyone out there had other ideas for this sprightly spring splendor?
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhubarb is one of my favourites. We used to grow it and as kids would eat the stems raw and plain. Can't quite bring myself to do that now though. Don't know how we thought it was a treat??? Oh to be so innocent again..... or was it gullible, or stupid, or desperate?

Have to say that I go for it prepared very simply. Prefer it baked or stewed with a diced apple and a tiny bit of raw sugar or honey to balance the acidity. The apple provides a bit of pectin and makes the juices thicken and go slightly jam like. If you add lemon and underripe apple it also lasts for longer in the fridge.

To serve I nomally eat it plain, but do like it with fromage blanc or homemade egg custard. For breakfast I like it mixed into porridge or tapioca.

It makes really yummy jam. But while I love making jams, I am not a big fan of eating them. More a savoury girl than a sweet tooth. Rhubarb jam is nice made into crumble or other sweets though.

A savoury dish would be to up the apple content slightly, add some lemon juice and serve with pork that has been cooked on the grill or bbq and basted with lemon juice so it goes all caramelised on the outside..

The rhubarb is out in the shops here, and I have been indulging myself. I love the smell of it cooking and really enjoy the tart/slightly sweet flavour. Might have to stew a big batch of it when it reaches the end of the season so I can enjoy it for longer.
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:16 pm    Post subject: Hemisphere confusion Reply with quote

I have just bought rhubarb for the first time from the vegetable market, so I assumed it was an autumn vegetable (or is it a fruit?). But you are both saying it is a spring vegetable/fruit.

I'm also interested to see what ideas are raised - all I have come up with so far is cooking it up and serving it with yoghurt. Or making it into a fool.
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Rainey



Joined: 29 Sep 2004
Posts: 2498
Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Debbie- My neighborhood pals and I ate it raw as kids too. We would put a wad of salt in the palms of our hands, dip the end of the rhubarb stalk in it to cut the sharpness of the flavor as we ate our way through half of the rhubarb patch at my friend Joanne's aunt's house. That, and sour green apples. Oh! and dirt. I was quite the goumand even then! Rolling Eyes

I still love salt but I think you'd have to tie me down and hold my nose hard to get me to put rhubarb in my mouth again. Twisted Evil I eat apples but not those nasty green ones and then only baked or sauteed. I have also foresworn the dirt. ...but I can still remember the flavor. And making compost for the garden always brings it back with a sweet bit of nostalgia. Wink
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Bekbeka, up here rhubarb is very much a spring thing. It pops up not long after the first daffodil and tulips emerge and is the very first thing I (and I expect most) of us north of the 49th and east of the Rockies can cut in useful amounts. It lasts through strawberry season (a very fortunate thing!) at the end of June but the heat of July and August turn it woody and pithy. Here, after the first frost it more or less just withers to nothing awaiting to emerge again, bigger and better than ever when spring rolls around the following year.
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Barbara



Joined: 13 Nov 2004
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Location: Gold Coast Australia

PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a child I hated rhubarb as my mother always stewed it to a pulp. Then I discovered if you sprinkle it with sugar and bake it in the oven it is rather yummy, especially served with yoghurt for breakfast. I'm looking forward to spring to make a rhubarb and apple jelly recipe I found at the hairdressers last month.
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that David - I'm interested - I thought that buying things fresh from the very local vegetable market meant that the produce would be seasonal - which is something I'm trying to do more of, being more aware of and cooking more in tune with the seasons. Oh well - I'm still looking forward to my rhubarb, however I end up preparing it - even if it is out of synch with autumn.
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Debbie



Joined: 21 Feb 2005
Posts: 861
Location: Paris

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good morning!

You had me in stitches Rainey with your story about eating dirt..... when I was a child I used to make these absolutely gorgeous mud pies and decorate them with lovely fresh strawberries, peas and other "stolen" fruits and veg from our garden. I would leave them in the sun to "cook" and then I would feed them to my sister.... who always ate them. Our Mum would go off her brain and we would get a smack each - me for feeding them to her, she for eating them. My theory is that she will never have a mineral imbalance with all the dirt she ingestd over our childhood years!

Never thought to eat salt with the rhubarb.... and sorry, but don't think I could eat raw rhubarb now. Green apples are an interesting one..... but I suppose that as a child I probably would have eaten them given half a chance. We never had apples growing as the climate was wrong in the area I grew up in. Children do eat weird things though, and I suppose it all helps us to develop a palate, or at the very least to experiment with food. Thank goodness our eating habits evolve with age!

In Sydney, I could quite often get 2 harvest periods out of my rhubarb. Sometimes if I nurtured them carefully I could get rhubarb from spring, all the way through summer and autumn. I think they grow it in green/hothouses in some areas and that may be why you have seen it in autumn Bekbeka.
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Erin



Joined: 18 Oct 2004
Posts: 1654
Location: Within view of Elliot Bay, The Olympics and every ship in the Sound

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to take a spoon out to the garden and hunker down for a treat. I still remember at the age of three wearing my blue velour sweat suit, hair in pig tails and finding my first worm. I ran into the house and never ate dirt again. I still have a tendency to run when I see worms, it provides my husband with comedy, especially since I love to garden.

We had fresh rubarb every spring, growing on the side of our house. I love it every way sauce, pies, crisps! One of the best ways is my aunt's blueberry rubarb jam. I am on my last jar and they don't sell it on the east coast or at least not on Long Island.
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rhubarb muffins....
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Hemisphere confusion Reply with quote

Bekbeka wrote:
I have just bought rhubarb for the first time from the vegetable market, so I assumed it was an autumn vegetable (or is it a fruit?). But you are both saying it is a spring vegetable/fruit.


I looked to see if someone else answered this, and if they did, it's buried deep within a post. Bekbeka: If a plant part can reproduce sexually, it's a FRUIT, such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, apples, etc.

If the plant part can NOT reproduce sexually, such as a potato (asexual reproduction) or rhubarb (you're eating the leaf stalk), than it is a VEGETABLE, or the vegetative part of a plant.

Rhubarb is a vegetable with a unique taste that makes it a favorite in many pies and desserts and the current use in savory dishes, especially pork.

It originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago. It was initially cultivated for its medicinal qualities. It was not until the 18th century that rhubarb was grown for culinary purposes.

Rhubarb is often commonly mistaken to be a fruit but rhubarb is actually a close relative of garden sorrel, and is therefore a member of the vegetable family.

Rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Rhubarb is a perennial plant (the kind that grows from year to year) which forms large fleshy rhizomes and large leaves with long, thick stalks. Fresh rhubarb is available from early winter through early summer. Winter rhubarb is commercially produced in hot houses


Bekbeka wrote:
I'm also interested to see what ideas are raised - all I have come up with so far is cooking it up and serving it with yoghurt. Or making it into a fool.


I am rhubarb addicted and never seem to be able to eat enough of it. I make both sweet and savory dishes with rhubarb; here's the link to a site that I'm always copying down the recipes from: http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/recipe-other.html

Here's the list they have:

Norwegian Rhubarb Dessert
Chicken Smothered In Rhubarb
Chocolate Purses With Rhubarb Raspberry Mousse
Freezing Rhubarb
Glazed Roast Lamb With Rhubarb Salsa
Lamb and Rhubarb Ragout
Lentils Curried with Rhubarb and Potatoes
Mackerel With Rhubarb (Irish)
Baked Chicken And Rhubarb
Nu-Taste Jello
Persian Rhubarb Stew
Pork and Rhubarb Ragout
Pork With Rhubarb Sauce
Pork Chop Rhubarb Casserole
Pork Chops With Rhubarb Dressing
Rhubarb Apple Meringue (Northern Ireland)
Rhubarb - Be Cued Beef Ribs
Rhubarb And Foie Gras
Rhubarb Orange Crepes
Rhubarb Pilaf
Pork Chops with Rhubarb Onion & Raisin Chutney
Rhubarb Potato Delight
Rhubarb Stuffing
Roast Loin of Pork with Rhubarb
Springtime Ham With Rhubarb Sauce
Storing Rhubarb
Strawberry Rhubarb Leather
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JustMe



Joined: 13 Apr 2005
Posts: 213
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Hemisphere confusion Reply with quote

[quote="Dairy_Queen"]
Bekbeka wrote:
If a plant part can reproduce sexually, it's a FRUIT, such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, apples, etc.

If the plant part can NOT reproduce sexually, such as a potato (asexual reproduction) or rhubarb (you're eating the leaf stalk), than it is a VEGETABLE, or the vegetative part of a plant.

Wow! I always heard the seeds/no-seeds version of that but I didn't know the actual science of it. Let me see if I have this straight: by reproducing sexually you mean there has to be pollination of a flower?

You are enlightening as always, DQ.
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Bekbeka



Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Posts: 108
Location: France

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dairy_Queen - fantastic reply, thank you!
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Dairy_Queen



Joined: 29 Jan 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Chicago and other places

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 8:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Hemisphere confusion Reply with quote

[quote="JustMe"]
Dairy_Queen wrote:
Bekbeka wrote:
If a plant part can reproduce sexually, it's a FRUIT, such as tomatoes, peppers, watermelons, apples, etc. Just like a coconut is also a fruit, because you can plant it and obtain coconut trees.

If the plant part can NOT reproduce sexually, such as a potato (asexual reproduction) or rhubarb (you're eating the leaf stalk), than it is a VEGETABLE, or the vegetative part of a plant.

Wow! I always heard the seeds/no-seeds version of that but I didn't know the actual science of it. Let me see if I have this straight: by reproducing sexually you mean there has to be pollination of a flower?

You are enlightening as always, DQ.


Thanks, JustMe and Bekbeka! I learn just as much from the two of you so it's an even exchange.

Regarding Botany, I teach Beginning Horticulture Monday nights at a local college and have to relate plants to human activity; than the students "get it". Of course, the "students" are 40-80 year old Stock Brokers, Dentists, and Packaging Wizards and they were snogging or snoozing whilst I was paying attention in class, way back when! Laughing

Yes, you have it right, Just Me. In order to classify as a fruit the object MUST be the fertilized female ovary of a plant: hence, anything with seeds. Peppers, zucchini, okra, and tomatoes are ALL fruits because they are the pregnant female ovary.

Now, although bananas are technically a fruit, (in reality, they are a berry), through the thousands of years of vegetative propogation, the seeds within a banana have withered and become useless. Therefore, they have developed a symbiotic relationship with Mankind and can NOT reproduce any longer without the aid of Man! Shocked And just for your information, the watermelon is the World's Largest Berry!

If the edible "thing" in question is a leaf, a stalk, or a tuber/rhizome/root....than it is a vegetable, coming from the root word vegetative. So, potatoes are a tuber, ginger is a rhizome, carrots are a root; they are all part of a plant but not the seed carrier.
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David



Joined: 30 Sep 2004
Posts: 1855
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the lnk tothe rhubarb recipe site DQ! Just what I've been looking for.

-------now about all this dirty talk!!! Very Happy
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