Friday, July 16, 2004
Growing to Like Rhubarb
When I was little, we had a rhubarb plant in our yard and my Mom would frequently prepare some sort of rhubarb sauce or compote. It was the only dessert I didn’t like and it seemed unfair to me at the time that rhubarb even counted as a dessert.
We moved from that house before I turned 7 and there have been very few occasions since then when I have eaten rhubarb. Until just this past weekend, I had never prepared rhubarb myself in any form. When I saw rhubarb at the farmers market, I decided it was time for us to get reacquainted.
I think there were probably two reasons I didn’t like rhubarb as a kid. The first might have been the fact that it was so sour. The second was probably the texture. These days, the sourness would not be a problem for me, but the texture still might be. I decided to stay away from compote recipes.
I found many tempting recipes for baked goods with rhubarb, but ended up making Rhubarb Conserve from Marcia Adams’ Cooking from Quilt Country. It has rhubarb, orange, lemon, raisins, pecans, a little ground cloves, and lots and lots of sugar in it.
There was quite a bit of chopping, but once the mixture was on the stove cooking, it required only an occasional stir. The conserve can be frozen, but I had some cute 8-ounce canning jars so I decided to can most of it. There was about a half a cup that didn't fit in the jars, so I put that in the fridge.
There was lots of chopping to do...
...but once cooking, the conserve required only an occasional stir
I haven't quite figured out how to use the conserve yet - I'm thinking it might be good warmed up and used as an ice cream topping. In the meantime, I've been snitching a little spoonful almost every evening. It's tangy, sweet and spicy and I really, really like it!