Neshali's Blog

Neshali: Baking Goddess

Do you know what's great? Rhubarb. It's winter hardy (in fact, rhubarb needs at least two months of cold weather… and I know I can definitely provide that living in Alberta). It is also resistant to drought, making it a pretty carefree, low-maintenance plant to grow and eat. So capable of withstanding neglect, that we found one prospering in my boyfriend’s backyard without his knowledge (ie. no watering, fertilizing, etc.). Found Rhubarb!

This made for some great rhubarb-strawberry cobbler!

The Recipe

Ingredients:

Filling:
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 tablespoons cinnamon
6 cups coarsely chopped fresh rhubarb
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries

Toppings:
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup buttermilk

Directions:

Filling:
In a large bowl combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add rhubarb and strawberries and toss to coat.
Spread in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 10 minutes.

Toppings:
In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles small peas.
With a fork stir in the buttermilk to form a soft dough.
Drop dough by tablespoon over the hot filling. Make 12 mounds.
Bake at 400 degrees F for about 25 minutes until topping is golden brown and has risen.

Some Tips on Harvesting Rhubarb

- Wait until the leaves are fully developed or nearly so.
- Pull the stalks away from the base of the crown (like pulling a stalk of celery off the bunch), and then snap it off at the bottom. Avoid cutting stems with a knife, as rot can set in.
- If this is the plant's first season, harvest only the big stalks, leaving the thinner ones to continue growing and nourish the plant.
- Never take more than half the stems in one year.
- Remember: don't eat the leaves. They're poisonous.

Comments (3)

I'm not sure that rhubarb does well in drought. Reason? Personal experience with rhubarb in my parents back yard.
I saw it every time I went there and it was sickly, weak with no signs of vigor. To me it was not healthy and growing well. I fed it some compost but it still lacked the vigor I thought it should have. I didn't know why it didn't respond to the compost until later.
On a later visit, as usual, I would check out the garden and saw the rhubarb. I was amazed at the difference I saw. It had big wide green leaves and the stocks were immense. How could this be, I wondered.
It was simply a water main leading to the house had broken and the rhubarb had what it needed to flourish, more water, and flourish it did!
Want really strong rhubarb? Feed it compost (top dressing) and give it water in the summer - rain water from rain barrels.
You too will be amazed what a little compost will do. And some water. :)

Gary | September 23, 2009 at 1:44 AM

And it was great cobbler. mmmmm....

Connie | August 7, 2009 at 4:19 PM

Do I have to cut rhubarb in the dark? It looks like Jason Voorhees went vegan. Creepy!

Toddski | August 5, 2009 at 10:49 PM