Rhubarb Rhubarb

In my previous post, I mentioned eating rhubarb compote with my rice bread. https://silkannthreades.wordpress.com/2013/09/10/rice-bread-and-blossom/ The rhubarb was fresh, young, spring rhubarb  from my garden. And the very first rhubarb I have  grown.

The growing season before last,  a good friend gave me a corm from her beautiful, bountiful rhubarb plant.  I planted it in a big, blue pot in sweet spot near my back door and let it be, as one should, for its first season.

Big Blue Pot of Rhubarb

Big Blue Pot of Rhubarb

This past weekend, I noticed that a few stalks on the rhubarb were ready for picking; only just ready, but I was so anxious to try my own home-grown rhubarb that  I couldn’t leave them on the plant any longer. I harvested a few stalks,

Spring Rhubarb

Spring Rhubarb

cooked them the merest amount( and even that was too much because the stalks were so tender!); added some sugar and there it was …..rhubarb compote, (aka stewed rhubarb 🙂 ), to be tasted one careful teaspoon at a time. Delicious, if over-mushed.

Rhubarb compote

Rhubarb compote

Now for a few fun facts about rhubarb.

Rhubarb is a vegetable. It’s true. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb

Rhubarb is the word actors utter repeatedly and  softly to emulate background conversation. Its use is “Attributed to the practice by Charles Kean‘s theatre company c1852 at Princess Theatre, London of actors supposed to be talking together inaudibly, repetitively saying the word rhubarb, which was chosen because it does not have any harsh-sounding consonants or clear vowels. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/rhubarb

Rhubarb is the title of a 1969 film by Eric Sykes where the only word used is Rhubarb. The film was remade in to a short television comedy in 1980 called Rhubarb Rhubarb.

So there you have it. Who knew a spring vegetable in a blue pot could be so much fun?

Rhubarb  Rhubarb

CUSTARD (what actors say when they are bored with Rhubarb 🙂 )

CUSTARD

CUSTARD

© silkannthreades

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78 thoughts on “Rhubarb Rhubarb

  1. Pingback: From Rhubarb to Roses | silkannthreades

  2. lagottocattleya

    I always make rhubarb pie, and when they grow too old and cannot be used for pies I mix them with other berries like currants and even plums and make fruit-syrup out of it. My friend makes an excellent marmalade, but I haven’t got the recipe myself. I get some jars from her every year…

    Reply
      1. lagottocattleya

        In the comments I can read about grandmothers…mine always made things from rhubarbs too. I guess they knew things in the old days…things now on their way to get lost. It’s important to let the young ones taste and try!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          They knew how to make the most of what was available, that’s for sure. I read in our newspaper that more and more New Zealanders are buying vegetables and fruit at local farmers market. That is great because it is at the markets that we can try old fashioned and seasonal produce like rhubarb. It is in our supermarkets but it never looks very attractive there.

        2. lagottocattleya

          Not here either…I prefer markets, but they are only in the town nearby.

          I have sent you an e-mail on your mail – hope it is correct? That way you will have my e-mail address too.

  3. ordinarygood

    My Mum and Dad always grew rhubarb and to get magnificent crops they would feed the plants with lots of manure dug in and watered on. Rhubarb is a “gross feeder” and the smellier the food the better I think! So we grew up on rhubarb, usually stewed and often mixed in with stewed apple and occasionally strawberries. Served with custard, in crumbles, sponge puds and on its own for any meal of the day.
    As for the hilarious “Rhubarb” film – we split our sides watching that for the first time and still enjoy it immensely.
    Do you add orange peel to reduce the acidity of more mature rhubarb? It works and gives it an lovely flavour.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Oh, more lovely tips about rhubarb and the growing and the cooking of it. I have cooked rhubarb with apple and with crystalised ginger. I haven’t tried orange peel but will keep that in mind for the day when my rhubarb is mature. Do you grow rhubarb? Unfortunately I haven’t seen the entire Rhubarb film. I think I missed a treat!

      Reply
      1. ordinarygood

        Oh the film is hilarious. In the same “tears down the cheeks” way that The Plank was:-)

        I used to grow rhubarb but folk here did not like it that much and my vege gardening is confined to tubs now.

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I put off planting it for years because of space restrictions and, also because of the lack of interest from other family members. But I finally decided that, if I could grow it in a pot, that would be a good amount for me, just me 🙂

  4. Forest So Green

    Rhubarb is so popular here, I am sure there are several cookbooks devoted just to rhubarb. I just love your photos 🙂 Annie

    Reply
  5. gpcox

    I remember the rhubarb growing when I visited my surrogate grand-mother in upstate New York when I was young, but can’t for the life of me remember what her pie tasted like.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Perhaps that means that it was good pie! Usually we remember forever and ever if a food in our childhood was distasteful. I HATED celery as a young one. I have mostly gotten over that distaste but, every now and again, I simply don’t want to go near it!

      Reply
  6. Sheryl @ Flowery Prose

    We’re big rhubarb fans here…my favourite recipe is a rhubarb upside down cake, but I also make cobbler, pie, jam, and stew it as you do for your compote. I can’t grow it myself (no room in the garden!) but I’m always absolutely delighted when anyone gifts me with some stalks. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Rhubarb upside down cake; that must be delicious. I must try it. Do you have a post on that recipe? I don’t have much room in my garden so that is why I am trying to grow it in a pot. So far, it seems happy.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Oh, thank you. That looks like an excellent recipe, especially with the addition of the whole wheat flour and flaxseed. I may try that with some of my frozen (fresh) rhubarb. I think it would work as long as I strain off the excess liquid. YUM

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I don’t hate you at all. Members of my own family feel the same way! In my younger days I was not keen on rhubarb. But in the last decade I suddenly developed a great passion for it as well as blackcurrants. So beware! If you develop a sudden and inexplicable passion for rhubarb you will know you are growing old 🙂

      Reply
  7. Just Add Attitude

    I smiled at the mention of rhubarb compote. You see I haven’t yet got broadband in my new home so I usually go out for breakfast to a cafe with wifi and my absolute favourite dish to have there is porridge with yogurt and rhubarb compote. 😉

    Reply
      1. Gallivanta Post author

        In the North, that is the appeal of porridge. May I add that porridge, with rhubarb and yogurt, is equally good when the spring sun is bursting in through the kitchen window and one is listening to National Radio… a delightful interview with Martin Bailey on Van Gogh http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2569172/uk-art-expert-on-van-gogh%27s-lost-sunflower-paintings and one’s mind drifts to Heather in Arles and her wonderful post on Van Gogh.

        Reply
        1. teamgloria

          ooooo, listening to this now!

          thank you ever so much.

          like being in a london townhouse in 1940 and twiddling the dial of the kitchen “set” to get crackly transmissions from Abroad!

      2. Eli@coachdaddy

        Rhubarb strawberry pie is also perfect for a Saturday night on the couch in air conditioning on a muggy summer night watching acidic Disney Channel shows with your children.

        Actually, it might make it entirely palatable.

        Reply
  8. utesmile

    I do love rhubarb, as in jam (mixed with strawberries) or eating raw dipped in sugar as we did as children, or in compote or crumble. It is an unusual vegetable but I always loved it. Your rhubarb looks wonderful. I heard that the leaves are poisonous, wonder if that is true. My children won’t touch it, but hten they have never seen it growing as I have in my gran’s garden.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am glad you appreciate rhubarb too 🙂 I haven’t tried raw rhubarb dipped in sugar but it seems to be a popular treat, especially for children. I am sure your boys would have loved it if they had eaten it fresh from your Gran’s garden. And, yes, the leaves are poisonous. Not sure how poisonous but I wouldn’t try to eat them, just as I wouldn’t try to eat tomato or potato leaves 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed, indeed! Oh, when my rhubarb grows some more, I will make rhubarb punch. It sounds so good. I may need to consult on quantities. I am feeling thirsty for it already.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Love ginger ale. I saw a recipe for cooked down rhubarb. Yet another thing to do. My little rhubarb plant needs to hurry up and grow, grow, grow.

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          Very 🙂 Which is rather interesting because it implies that a vegetable has some sort of intelligence/brain/skills. Yet, when people are badly hurt and incapicitated we say they have become like a vegetable. Perhaps some language rethinking is required.

  9. lizzierosejewellery

    I LOVE rhubarb. It’s the one thing I have really missed by being away from any Rhubarb growing countries for the past twenty years(!). If you do find it in any supermarket which is about once a year, they are in a poor state and overly-priced. I am from near the rhubarb triangle in the north of England (the forced variety) so was brought up on it. I prefer rhubarb crumble and custard but love cold rhubarb stewed with warm custard, either sugared or sour, depending on my mood. Funny, I was just checking the best before date on a packet of custard not half an hour ago! Weird! Your stems look pristine by the way.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Ah, you are a lady after my rhubarb heart 😀 !!!! I can’t quite manage unsugared rhubarb but every other way, I’ll take it. I can understand how you would miss it. By the way, on an entirely different subject. I bought some Crabtree and Evelyn Lily of the Valley fragrance yesterday. The Freesia is no longer made.

      Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          I thought Lily of the Valley would be too sweet but actually it is pleasantly mild. I will compare it against the real Lily of the Valley when it appears in my garden and see how ‘true’ it is. Rhubarb scent???? It might be wonderful 😀

    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I am a big fan of custard. Love it. Rhubarb is one of those things that people seem to love or hate. I didn’t like it much when I was younger but, lately, I am almost addicted to it!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Do you ever make rhubarb pie in her honour? Rhubarb is an old fashioned plant, isn’t it? A plant everyone used to grow. I love rhubarb in a rhubarb crumble.

      Reply

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