Saturday, June 22, 2013

OOOOH. .Recipe!!

I like rhubarb. .
My mom fixed it a few times that I can remember. .
Probably into a pie. .
or a pie mixed with strawberries. .
After we got married, we lived near the ranch that Jeremy's grandparents owned. .
She grew rhubarb. .
And shared her bountiful harvest with us.
I tried a few things like rhubarb pie. .
and rhubarb crumble. .
and even Grandma's rhubarb cake recipe. .
 (that Grant took to the state fair one of his first years in 4-H)
Grandma would always send over enough for me to scald and freeze.
Enter. .
Church soup supper.
We made pies. .
Everyone was supposed to bring 2.
I had taught myself to make pie in college. .
So I was up for the challenge.
Trying to decide what kind to make. .
I remembered that I had rhubarb in the freezer, ready to go.
I didn't realize what a hit that would be!
There were several people that hadn't had rhubarb pie for years (it is kind of an unusual flavor!)
And so, that became kind of my "thing."
And there were a few people who COUNTED on that rhubarb pie every winter at the soup supper.
One in particular. .
hunted me down the first year that I DIDN'T make a pie because I had no rhubarb in my freezer!
SO. .
After him complaining a few years in a row about it. .
He BOUGHT me THREE crimson red rhubarb plants. .
And the local nursery man grew them in his greenhouse for a whole year to make sure they would root and be ready to go!
Long story shorter. .
This is the FIRST year (I think they have been in the garden now for about 4 years). .
That I have been able to have a decent little crop of them.
Of course, the first thing I did??
Was to make TWO rhubarb pies. .
One for each of us to celebrate.
NOT my rhubarb pie. .
photo courtesy of Wikipedia. .as is the photo above of the rhubarb stalks
Enter. .
The whole reason I have told you this whole, long, drawn out story!
A local meat producing, veggie harvesting, farmer's market attending friend of mine. .
They are hoping for a good, productive season to get their local farmer's market back on track.
A brilliant idea they had, was to solicit people to show the public how to USE the products being sold. She wondered if I knew of any 4-H kids that might be able to help out. Much to the glee of my spawn. .
I volunteered them each to do a presentation.
The only thing doing anything in my garden yet is the rhubarb.
And since rhubarb is one of those little known foods. .
I thought it would be a great opportunity to try something new.
I thought a sauce or a drink using rhubarb would be the quickest type of demonstration that a high school aged male would consent to. .
And I recalled seeing a recipe long ago for a punch that I never had tried out. .
so I went searching.
I found several. .
not the one I thought I had saved all those years ago. .
but one that was easy to make and enjoyable to sip.

And, if you live around here. .
come down to the park around 10 and watch Grant demonstrate how to make it. .
and score yourself a sip!!
I made the first batch to try at home. .
and also stewed the rhubarb that Grant would need to use for his demonstration. .
since I had picked enough rhubarb for 2 batches.
Grant was at football camp. .
and didn't get to help with that process.

I cooked 6 cups of cut rhubarb with 6 cups of water, sweetened with 1 cup of sugar.
I was amazed at how it cooked down into a stringy, mushy mess. .
not at all resembling the pretty little red 1/2 chunks of celery-looking fruit that I had put into the pot.
Before it had cooled enough. .
I pushed one pot of the rhubarb mixture through a double thickness of cheesecloth.
After years of using old tea towels for purposes like this. .
I splurged on a length of cheesecloth. .
and haven't been sorry since!
Grant's mush mixture is now residing in the freezer until his demonstration. .
And he can demonstrate this step.
What is leftover. .
 is this little green pile of rhubarb in the cheesecloth. .
(which will make great compost)
And a super luscious looking bowl of sweetened rhubarb juice.
It was really that beautiful!!
I chilled the juice in the refrigerator overnight. .
mostly because I didn't have any clear soda in the house to mix with it. .
And the next day. .
I stirred in a 12 oz can of lemonade concentrate. .
And a 1 liter bottle of Sprite.
And look at the happy campers that showed up. .
and drank it all down!!
It's a little tart. .
And a little syrupy. .
One could certainly add a little more water. .
But we liked it just like that. .
And Jeremy claimed that it had no "nasty rhubarb aftertaste". .
and he proceeded to tank down about a quart of it!
A quart, however. .
Is too much!!
In researching it out later. .
Apparently the roots and stalks of rhubarb plants. .
Have been used for over 5000 years. .
as a. .
Stop at 2 glasses people!!

I was thrilled for the opportunity/challenge to come up with a good way to use rhubarb. .
2 of my 3 plants have survived. .
And I transplanted some old fashioned green rhubarb from my mom in May. .
and it seems to not mind the move a bit!
So, I will totally be using this recipe again next year when rhubarb season rolls around!

Between my brother in law and I. .
We will have a few bundles of rhubarb available!!

 So remember. .
Try something new. .
you MIGHT like it!!
Enjoy your Saturday!

Rhubarb Punch

6 cups rhubarb
6 cups water
1 cup sugar
cook together until mushy about 20 minutes.
Strain thru double cheesecloth
Mix with 1 12 oz can of lemonade and stir in 1 liter of sprite


  1. I love rhubarb, and we have a plant on the allotment that gives us enough for the freezer. Your pies and drink look fabulous Melanie, I don't suppose you do mail order ;)

  2. Can you believe I have never tried rhubarb? I meant to get down to see Grant, but got sidetracked.

  3. Rhubbarb punch? That is new to me. Never really got the taste for rhubbarb pie. Love how cool the plants look though. It is awesome that he got you plants to start. A great story. Demos at the farmers' market sound like a great idea.