Thursday, July 11, 2013

rhubarb blubarb

One of the interesting things about growing a garden is figuring out how to use it all. I discovered that I planted WAY too many broccoli plants this year. Yeah, 15 was too many. Maybe I'll cut back to 8 next year. I still have broccoli in my fridge that I picked two weeks ago. We've been eating raw broccoli like crazy, but I think the family is getting a little tired of it. Now we're onto snap peas!

But I said I was going to talk about rhubarb, didn't I? Rhubarb is one of those weird "heritage plants" - everyone has one, and no one knows what to do with it. Unless you like eating endless rhubarb cobblers (which are tasty, but we don't eat much dessert around here) or use a lot of strawberry-rhubarb jam, what do you DO with that ubiquitous plant? Here's one option:

But unless for those of us with tastebuds, that's not a particularly welcome option for wholesale consumption. I've made rhubarb relish a few times, which has become my favorite summer condiment. And this year, I discovered...rhubarb juice! 

25 cups chopped rhubarb (the really red ones make the best juice)
25 cups water
7 cups white sugar

This is essentially a 3:3:1 ratio so if you don't have 25 cups of rhubarb, just follow the ratio.

1. Boil the dickens out of it. 
2. Strain, add one frozen can each of orange and apple juice. 
3. Freeze. 
4. When you want a tasty drink, mix this juice half and half with carbonated water. (NOT tonic water or Club Soda!! Been there, done that, gagged mightily.)

Isn't it a pretty colour?

Since we have a tiny freezer and are expecting 10 large birds to be inhabiting it shortly, I canned mine instead. I left out the concentrated juice too, mostly because we don't have juice on-hand and I didn't feel like buying any. It's pretty delicious either way. If you want to can your juice to make it shelf-worthy, you can use a hot water bath. 5 minutes at a full boil will seal your jars up nicely. 

If you have other rhubarb recipes that aren't a dessert, I'd love to hear them!

No comments: