Saturday, May 8, 2010

On Rhubarb..a Taste Never Forgotten!

OK….this is going to require a little work. Not too much mind you….just a bit.

So close your eyes. Now think back to your childhood days and think of something you ate that tasted so outrageously different that you have never forgotten that very unique & special taste. Think hard there had to be something. This is about mine.

As I write this I’m watching a pot cooking on the stove. This pot contains something that I picked in the garden this morning. The smell easily and quickly brings me back to days in Maine when I watched my Mother cook the very same thing….the very same way.

Yet back then I picked this gem and ate most of it well before it ever made it to the cooking pot. I picked the stalks and then quickly got a small saucer and filled it with sugar. I then wet the bottom of the stalk with my tongue…dipped it in the sugar and bit into that baby. WOW…..that taste was a mouthful of tart/sweetness that lit up every taste bud in my happy mouth and we made funny faces.

Rhubarb is a wonderful plant! Yep that is what I’m watching cook on LuLu’s stove. I have been waiting for this harvest for the past three years. Why three years, well rhubarb should only be harvested in its third growing season.

Rhubarb is a perennial plant which forms large fleshy rhizomes and large leaves with long, thick (and tasty) petioles (stalks). Rhubarb stalks are commonly found in supermarkets, fresh rhubarb is prized by gourmet cooks. Some folks say the finest quality rhubarb is grown in Michigan, Ontario, Canada, and other northern states such as Maine in the United States.
Rhubarb loves cold weather. Rhubarb works here in the mountains of southwest Virginia because we are above 3,000 feet and our winters are cool to cold.

Rhubarb is good for you and contains a fair source of potassium, contributes minor amounts of vitamins, and is low in sodium. Rhubarb's crisp sour stalks are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber and calcium. Rhubarb is somewhat acidic (pH 3.1-3.2) but in most recipes this is normally offset by sugar. One cup diced Rhubarb contains about 26 calories.

OK…….waiting is over. It’s a glorious May Saturday afternoon and I have three scoops of fresh vanilla ice crème just waiting for the warm rhubarb sauce to be poured on top.

Heavenly! I’m in the rhubarb time machine & loving every bit of it and still making funny faces!

Rhubarb makes dust…….


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