I used to buy asparagus whenever I felt like eating it. But learning to “Make it Do” has meant learning to shop and eat differently. It took me I while, but I finally figured out that fruits and vegetables bought in season not only saves money, but they also taste so much better. I just love when I can have my cobbler and eat it too.
And Mother Nature seems to brilliantly bring just the right things into season at just the right time. After a long gray Winter, I crave bright green foods like Asparagus and Spring Greens. And then magically they are in season, just when I want then. What would Summer be without tomatoes, corn on the cob or watermelon? And in the Fall, when there is a nip in the air, there is warm Apple Crisp or Pumpkin Pie.
So it is May, and what am I craving? Rhubarb. I love its tart wonderful flavor. And luckily, it’s just coming into season. Growing rhubarb is so easy. It is one of the few vegetables (and yes it is a vegetable… and tomatoes are a fruit… go figure) that is a perennial. One inexpensive plant will provide years of delicious crop. Whatever you can’t eat, you can slice up and freeze for the Winter.
When I was a little girl, my next door neighbor, LaVerne Jenkins made the best rhubarb pie in the whole world. She was delighted that I loved it so much. Whenever she made it, she would call over the fence and invite me to come have a slice. She served it warm with vanilla ice cream. Yum, I really need to call her for the recipe. She is a Great Grandmother now, but I hope she still makes her pie.
This evening I don’t have time to make pie. But I do have time to make a quick, easy and delicious Rhubarb Cobbler. Since I just bought blackberries for a good price, I’m throwing them into the cobbler, too.
Here’s the recipe:
4 cups of fruit (Either all rhubarb or about 3 to 3 ½ cups rhubarb and 1/2 to 1 cup blackberries or strawberries equaling 4 cups.)
½ cup sugar
½ cup water
½ cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 tsp. baking powder
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour ½ cup sugar and ½ cup water over fruit and stir. Pour fruit mixture evenly into 9×9 baking dish and set aside.
Whisk together melted butter, remaining sugar, flour, milk and baking powder. Pour batter evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or with milk and a sprinkle of nutmeg.
I also love to substitute 4 cups of fresh peaches, in place of the rhubarb, when they are in season.
Just a few notes about rhubarb:
- The leaves and roots are toxic, only the stalks are edible.
- When picking rhubarb, don’t cut… pull it out.
- It is ripe when the stalks have turn red or pink.
- Eat it quickly after cutting, when the stalks become soft they don’t taste good.
- Rhubarb freezes really well.
- When planting rhubarb, remember your plant could last 15 years or maybe more. So really amend your soil with compost before planting.
Many thanks to my neighbor Erin for letting me steal her rhubarb, since my plant is still small.