Rhubarb is a vegetable with a unique taste that makes it a favorite in many pies and desserts. It originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago. It was initially cultivated for its medicinal qualities, it was not until the 18th century that rhubarb was grown for culinary purposes in Britain and America. Rhubarb is often commonly mistaken to be a fruit, but rhubarb is actually a close relative of garden sorrel, and is therefore a member of the vegetable family. Rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber.
I grew up with the notion that rhubarb was only good in the spring, so I usually just used it until June. But in doing some research a few years ago, I found that in Iowa rhubarb is good spring-summer, provided the summer isn't extremely hot and/or dry. Several years ago we moved our rhubarb and added to to it. The first year you don't use it, the second you can use just a few stalks, but this year it's ready to go. That along with this cool weather has made for quite the crop of rhubarb!
All that being said, I'm not a huge fan of rhubarb, but I have found some recipes that are wonderful and don't make my mouth pucker! I made the first one for book club and they asked for the recipe, so here's a tutorial for them. I made the second for my husband and he loves them both!
1 c. sifted flour
5 T powdered sugar
1/2 c. oleo
Mix these three ingredients and press into an 8x13 pan. Bake at 350 for 15 min. and cool.
2 beaten eggs
1/12 c. sugar
1/4 c flour
3/4 t salt
2 c chopped rhubarb
Spoon mixture over cooled crust and bake at 350 for 35 min.
3--4 c chopped rhubarb
Put in 8x8 or 9x9 pan
Cream: 3/4 c sugar
3 T margarine
Mix dry ingredients:
1 c flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 t salt
Add to creamed mixture alternately with 1/2 c milk and pour the batter over the rhubarb.
Next mix: 1 c sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/4 t salt
Pour over batter
Finally pour 1 c boing water over the sugar mixture and bake at 375 for 1 hour.
(this recipe is also good using raspberries, cherries, etc.)
Both recipes are good with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped topping.
(I apologize for the lack of photos during the process, and for the poor quality of photos. I am just NOT a photographer, and it doesn't come natural for me to take the pictures! I'm working on that.)