Rhubarbarian

If cranberry and celery had a baby, they’d name it rhubarb. Who knows, maybe there’s a bit of Granny Smith in that pseudo-family tree, too. Either way, what can I say except rhubarb is tart. Brutally, wonderfully, deliciously, tart.

I have always been the beneficiary of the talents of others, during rhubarb season. I have never actually made anything with it before. It’s the first of the spring crops, beating out even strawberries. Rhubarb has always been one of my favorites.

This year, I purchased some from a local yard sale and then later, got even more, as someone was giving it away at church. I could not contain my glee, being eager to finally delve into cooking my favorite vegetable. Or is it a fruit? Fregetable. Yum.

What do I make? Pie, bars, cake or jam? Yes! Well… no. You can’t have it all, can you? Ain’t nobody got time for that.

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I paged feverishly through my old Betty Crocker recipe book and stumbled upon a recipe I got from a former boss, years ago. I was searching for rhubarb recipes and upon flipping a page, a loose sheet with his recipe dropped in my lap as if it were a sign. Pick me! Pick me! Pick me! Yassssssss! I had sampled his before and knew it was a winner.

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Four layers of fun to make. A cinch. I love to cook and admittedly am darn good at it, but time limitations restrict my ventures into the new and unknown. Not so today, I had time to spare.

I look at the recipe. Nice for a baseline but I’ll do it my way. Instead of a pie, I opt for a 9×13, more is better! I tweak the ingredients and ta-da! Finito!

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This batch turned out great and I have enough rhubarb left over to make another. Both sweet and wonderfully tart. Swart? Tweet? Who’s coming over? I think I’m going to make the next batch using some sort of strawberry concoction. Let me know your recipes please!

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Fun facts about rhubarb that I’ve learned while searching for recipes:

The name rhubarb comes from the word rhabarbarum or something like that, meaning root of barbarians. Rhubarbarians unite!

It can grow up to 10 feet tall! Where? Let me at it!

Rhubarb leaves are poisonous to eat but you’d need to eat over 10 lbs of them, in order for them to be deadly. Salad anyone?

Rhubarb is loaded with cancer-fighting vitamins and minerals! Bonus. I’ll eat more!

In movies, when there are crowd scenes, the actors are instructed to say words like rhubarb, watermelon, peas and carrots in order to sound like they are engaged in real conversation. So, listen up for rhubarb, next time that crowd murmurs!

Supposedly Benjamin Franklin used powdered rhubarb as a cure for flatulence. Time to spike dinner!

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I can see the allure in writing a food blog after this little experiment. Fun with science, that you get to eat! The options are endless – and delicious! So many foods, seasonings and spices to try! I wish I could focus on any one topic that long. Instead, I’ll just focus on variety, the spice (ha ha) of life!

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