May – Rhubarb

I’d like to tell you that our rhubarb plants are producing enough for our needs – not that anyone “needs” rhubarb – but I wanted to make rhubarb jam and rhubarb pie and put some in the freezer for making rhubarb pies in the middle of winter.  Who doesn’t “need” a taste of spring in the middle of a blizzard?

We brought two rhubarb plants with us when we moved from New Jersey.  Yep…dug them up from our garden, put them in a big bucket of dirt and loaded them into the back of the moving truck.  They survived the move, but the stalks they produce are skinny.  I don’t know if it’s the variety, or maybe they need a hefty dose of fertilizer – but the harvest has been downright puny.  We bought a few more rhubarb crowns at the garden supply store and planted them next to theses expat plants.  They are beginning to come up, but they have a ways to go before I can harvest those stalks – in fact, it will probably be next year, or the year after.  What’s a girl to do?

I went back to Highland Orchards.  I had taken my kids there more than 30 years ago for picking things like blueberries and cherries (did you know that picking cherries requires climbing trees – and throwing out the cherry-stained clothes, but the kids had a great time).  They also have rhubarb for the picking.  It’s only a small patch – I guess rhubarb is not a big “pick-your-own” fruit (actually, it’s a vegetable – which may explain why people are confused about whether to pick it or not).  We were the only ones in the rhubarb patch – pulling stalks to our hearts content.  I pulled the stalks; Chris lopped off the leaves (which are poisonous – and may be another reason why no one else was in a hurry to pick rhubarb).

We came home with about six pounds of beautiful, plump, red rhubarb stalks.  Chris chopped them up – I made the jam, and the pie – and packed enough bags of rhubarb in the freezer to quench that craving in January or February when I need a taste of spring.

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At only an inch tall, it will be awhile.
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And this new rhubarb plant isn’t much better — 3 inches doesn’t make much jam
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But these transplants from our New Jersey garden area healthy and growing.
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Ready to make the jam.
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It looks like a lot until you cook it down in the pan.
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And add a ridiculous amount of sugar.
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Nothing like hearing the jars “ping” when they seal. It always brings a smile.
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And an “open-faced” rhubarb tart — a nice treat for dinner.

2 thoughts on “May – Rhubarb

  1. Hallo zusammen, da bekommt man richtig Hunger und sind auch neidisch darauf. Unsere Rhabarber ist noch lange nicht so weit, sie will dieses Jahr nicht so recht. lg Thomas & Denise

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