a lesson in rhubarb.

we had rhubarb growing in our yard.
it came with the house.
i have never tried my hand at cooking or baking with it and last year i let it waste away.
this year i decided to do something about with it.

i had no idea what i was doing to harvest it.
thankfully i have something called google ready at my fingertips and it helped out big time.
did you know that you twist and pull at the very bottom and it comes out quite easy? i sure didn't.
did you know that the leaves are poisonous?? i really didn't know that - i wonder who the poor person was who figured out that gem? poor them. :(

once harvested i took a minute, stared at it and went...now what?
it's such a strange and awkward fruit {vegetable?} that i know i like from eating it - i just have never prepared it. it looks like red celery.

first things first was to prep it - trim off the leaves, cut it into one inch chunks, set aside.

done. look at how awesome the green is against that raspberry type colour? stunning.
after some research i settles on three preparations that would suit us just fine.

fist up - freeze some. rhubarb comes but once a year and if i do happen to fall for what i am about to make, i would like the chance later in the year to re-create such a masterpiece.
i went the individual freeze method and here is what i did:
lay down wax or parchment paper on a sheet pan.
then evenly distribute your rhubarb across the pan in one layer.
pop it in the freezer till the pieces get frozen hard. dump the contents {minus the paper} into a freezer bag and toss in your freezer for safe keeping. easy peasey.

now i have this much left and i am going to use it, by jove! 

after much search i came upon a crumble recipe done by steph over at stephmodo and instantly knew that was what batch #2 was destined for.
after a few tweaks here and there {you know me!} i came up with something that i am quite excited for and now very happy i have a batch of rhubarb hanging out in the freezer.
{and i really like how it looks in my new crate & barrell baking dish. love c & b!}

strawberry rhubarb basil crumble.
adapted from stehpmodo.

this crumble asks for basil - this is optional - i really didn't taste the basil i put in so if you have none on hand please do not let this stop you! if you do have some, please use it and let me know if you tasted it!! maybe i have had too much hot sauce in my life for the delicate flavour it offered. 
who knows.

1.5 pound strawberries, hulled and halved.
1 pound rhubarb, cut into one inch pieces
9 basil leaves, julienned {
1/2 cup of sugar.
1 tablespoon plus one teaspoon of corn starch.
the juice from one half a medium lemon.
pinch of good kosher salt.
1 cup of oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
another pinch of good kosher salt.
1/2 cup of butter, cut into small cubes.

pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. source out your best 8x8 style baking/serving dish.

carefully stir together the first seven ingredients in a large bowl. dump into your dish.
in a new bowl stir together your oats, brown sugar, flour and salt. blend butter into your topping with a pastry blender to create pea sized clumps of topping. distribute evenly over the top of the fruit mixture. pop it into the oven and bake till top is golden and the fruit is bubbling - about 35 minutes {oven to vary. bake to 35 minutes then go from there.} let cool slightly then serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of vanilla sweetened whip cream.


now on to batch #3 and what to do there.
still licking my lips from the above culinary experience i really wanted to do a combo again.
this week is quebec strawberry week.
i had no idea.
i picked up the most glorious flat of strawberries bursting with sweetness and enormous flavour.
and more perfect? experiencing that flavour in december/january when the snow gods have descended upon us.
that perfect taste of our summer.
it's settled - jam. beautiful jam.
i have already eaten one jar. it's so good.
one day we smeared it on this bread and another day it was destined to accompany pumpkin waffles {recipe coming soon...still tweaking that one...can't get the spice quite right...}

strawberry rhubarb jam.
via canadian living

i really liked this recipe for the small amount of sugar. the downside - it said it made 7 jars and i got 4. bummer. but that's not stopping me from making another 2 batches this weekend. it's that good.
in my humble opinion.

2 cups hulled crushed strawberries
2 1/2 chopped rhubarb
1 package pectin crystals {if you can get light - that's better}
2 3/4 cups granulated sugar

Pour strawberries and rhubarb into large Dutch oven.

Combine the pectin crystals with 1/4 cup of the sugar; stir into pan. Bring to full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining sugar; return to full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Stir for 5 minutes to prevent fruit from floating, skimming off foam.
Using sterilized metal funnel and 1/2-cup (125 mL) measure, pour into hot sterilized 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. If necessary, wipe rims. Cover with hot lids; screw on bands fingertip tight. Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. Check for seal, ensuring that lids curve downward. (If not, refrigerate and use within 3 weeks.) Store in cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year.


so there you have it - a study in rhubarb.
i learnt something new.
i hope you did too.

the weekend is here already!!! this weekend is canada day so we will be hanging with friends at the festivities then having everyone over here for our second annual canada day barbeque.
i am hoping this is going to catch on and be our yearly "thing".


how about you? any big plans?
happy weekend! xo

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Not only does this look amazingly delicious--but it's SUCH great information.

Your photography is beautiful here!