I love seasonal food that’s only really, truly fresh and local for a few weeks of the year. Probably something to do with the memories of picking and eating fresh-from-the-large-farm-garden we had growing up.
It’s rhubarb’s time. And I just made some whole wheat rhubarb streusel muffins, thanks to a Smitten Kitchen recipe. I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream, and added some ground flax seed to the streusel.
My new non-stick muffin tin is something I should have upgraded to years ago…glad I had it today.
I’ve tried streusel muffins before and the topping always falls off. Learned the trick is less batter and pat down the topping to stick onto the muffin as it rises in the oven.
Perfect recipe for a rainy weekend morning with a coffee and the crossword.
My neighbour has a rhubarb patch and he encourages me to help myself to as much rhubarb as I want. I picked a lot this year! I made a few rhubarb crisps and still had enough for this rhubarb G&T. First you make rhubarb syrup. Chop 3 cups of rhubarb and combine with 1 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the rhubarb is very soft. Strain the syrup through a fine-mesh sieve set over a bowl. Transfer the syrup to a glass jar or bottle and admire the colour.
Then you make the cocktail using the pretty pink syrup! Combine 1 oz rhubarb syrup, 1 oz fresh lime juice, 2 oz gin and 2 oz tonic. Pour over ice & garnish with lime or rhubarb.
Then you drink it – summer in a glass!
HAR (and Ben for finding the recipe!)
I used to grab the jar of brown sugar from the kitchen and sneak out into the rhubarb patch. Pulling up a ripe stalk, I’d lick the end of the rhubarb before dipping it into the vat of golden, crunchy sugar. Not the most clever way to eat rhubarb…but it was really just a vehicle for sugar.
I found a better way to eat rhubarb with fresh stalks from a friend’s garden. I made gingered rhubarb jam with honey. It turned out like a new take on marmalade.
The recipe I used was from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard.
Here’s what you need:
I lemon, 2 cups chopped rhubarb, 1 large tart apple (cored, peeled and chopped), 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 1 cup liquid honey, 1 1/2 tbsp. crystallized ginger (finely chopped)
Here’s how you make it:
- Remove the rind from the lemon with a peeler and cut into this strips. Place lemon rind in a medium stainless steel enamel saucepan. Squeeze in lemon juice (reserving 1 tbsp. for later).
- Add rhubarb, apple and water to saucepan. Bring to boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes until fruit is tender.
- Add sugar, honey, ginger and reserved lemon juice. Return to boil, then boil rapidly uncovered until mixture forms a gel – about 8 minutes – stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
- Ladle into hot jars (I used 125 mL canning jars – they make a nice sampling size). Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes 3 1/4 cups.
If you need to know more about canning, check out this site from Bernardin.
The recipe works with fresh or frozen rhubarb. I made the first batch with fresh rhubarb. And I have more that’s washed and chopped and waiting in the freezer to make more of this first canning success of the 2016 growing season.