How We Use Rhubarb

This crop is one we always have an abundance of but rarely asked for.

One entire end of our garden is full of rhubarb that is harvested three or four times each year. Most people don’t like it because it so sour. I’ve learned a couple of tricks since we started raising it that makes it hard to turn down.

I use the leaves which are huge on the plant are cut off and reintroduced into the patch to keep the weeds down like a mulch. They are poisonous, the substances present in the plant leaves are oxalic acid and anthraquinone glycosides. The stalks and roots are not poisonous.

Now, how to cook them. Cut the stalks into one-inch cubes after you have thoroughly washed them. Put in a pan with just enough water to keep them from burning, very little water (1/4 inch, at most) and cook over medium heat and watch carefully. When fully cooked add about two cups of sugar and stir to dissolve. Now here’s the trick, add your favorite box of flavored gelatin and stir to incorporate. We love strawberry or raspberry but have used grape and blackberry as well. The gelatin thickens the rhubarb and adds a wonderful flavor. It’s wonderful addition to our morning breakfast, on hot biscuits like jelly, also unique in a rollup cake!

If friends and neighbors want some this spring let me know because we have a lot in the freezer. We didn’t share a lot because we were only allowing family on the farm due to Covid. If friends will contact me, I’ll cut it and leave in bags for drive up delivery at the end of the driveway!!! I’ll be posting when it’s available.

This was our first setting and now the entire end of the garden is full of rhubarb. This photo shows it half grown for the first harvest of the spring.

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