I hope you’ll forgive the riot of rhubarb shots, but, at this time of year, it is one of my great joys. (Yes, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.)
Rhubarb is really a vegetable, but we eat it sweetened, like a fruit. I adore its tartness and acidity. It must be in the genes because my mother and sister are very fond of it too.
A quick trip to the farmers’ market this morning and five pounds of rhubarb and a few hours later, I’m in the kitchen, stewing it up and making rhubarb coffee cake. And I still had enough left over to freeze for another day.
I love our local farmers’ market. I bought my rhubarb from the same wonderful couple as last year. (Let’s call them Joe and Dorothy.)
Today, I was at the market early enough to buy up a good share of what they had to sell.
Last year, things were different. One weekend, my family was visiting, and we arrived at the market just minutes before it closed. I had my heart set on rhubarb, but it was too late — there was none left. After I expressed disappointment, Joe offered to drive all the way back to the farm just to get me some. I thanked him profusely for offering but said I didn’t want to put him to that kind of trouble. “Oh, no trouble,” he said. “Meet me back here in 15 minutes.”
And so I did. True to his word, Joe was there waiting with a bagful of lovely freshly cut rhubarb. I wanted to pay him extra in appreciation for his effort, but he wouldn’t hear of it. Needless to say, I am now a big fan of Joe and Dorothy’s and a regular customer of their fine produce.
We’re now growing rhubarb in our own garden. We started it last year from a cutting, so the plant is still small, but I have great hopes for next year.
There’s so many good things you can make with rhubarb. When I stew it or bake with it, I often add vanilla for a wonderful flavour combination. Ginger is lovely too.
Here’s my recipe for rhubarb coffee cake (pictured above) from Epicurious.
So, what’s your favorite thing to eat this time of year?