Friday, May 29, 2009

Rhubarb - Love it!!

I have the opposite of a green thumb, I am a bad gardener. I have tried many times in the past and each time it is a horrible chore that causes bickering between me and my middle boys (who are the only ones I can convince to help me) and sometimes the results are not quite as satisfying as we hoped - I not exactly sure if it was due to our short season or my bad gardening, but I guess we all have our talents and mine is not really in the garden!

There are some things that we have had good luck with, and one of them is rhubarb. Rhubarb actually takes NO EFFORT on my part - honest. It is like a weed, and nothing, not hail, snow, too much rain, not enough rain, even dogs running through it will kill the stuff - it is hearty stuff!

Even better, I LOVE rhubarb, my middle son Justin shares my love and you can find either of us watching our rhubarb plant in early spring, just waiting for it to be ready to pull to make our first cake or crisp. Regardless of the snow we just had two weeks ago, my rhubarb is just long enough to start picking. We did not get much, but we enjoyed our first rhubarb crisp this week.

I do a lot of different things with our rhubarb, but one of the things that I started doing a few years back was canning it as a sauce (similarly to apple sauce). It is so good, I can't even explain to you how much we love it. We eat it with yogurt all summer long and then have lots put away for our long (long!!!) winter. I normally make two types, plain and cinnamon, both are great!
I don't have any pictures of the canning process yet, but I will give you the recipe.
Rhubarb Sauce
4 cups Rhubarb, washed and cut in 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup - 1 cup Sugar, based on your preference
1 - 2 tsp Cinnamon (optional)
Place the rhubarb in a large saucepan, sprinkle sugar over top and stir to coat. Let stand in a cool place until juice appears, about 3 - 4 hours. Bring mixture to a boil and boil for about 30 seconds.
Pack hot rhubarb into hot canning jars, screw on lid and process in a hot water bath for 15 minutes. Confirm lids have "snapped" within 24 hours, then store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Note: Pictures were taken by my super great son Jesse :)

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