I was totally amazed the other day when the conversation around the staffroom table turned to the hate that people had of rhubarb. I had brought in rhubarb and ginger jam to sandwich between macaroons and a few people were surprised at how much they liked the jam when they “hated rhubarb”. I was even more shocked when an impromptu poll in my classes revealed only ONE (out of 90+) students who had ever tried rhubarb.
Is rhubarb even a fruit? Let’s pretend it is.
I love rhubarb-maybe I should stage it’s comeback campaign. It seems a shame that this lowly and easy-to-grow treat is being largely forgotten about while we import as many kiwi and mangos as possible.
Everytime I pick it, cook it and eat it I think of how excited those early Ottawa Valley settlers must have been to see the first of the rhubarb come up after a long winter with little or no fresh food and a serious yen for vitamin C.
Still today, when you walk around any abandoned homestead you will always find the remains of a rhubarb plot, a wild rose bush waiting to impale you in a fairy tale kind of way and a lilac bush. Even the homeliest of places went to the effort of putting in these three landscaping elements. I like that kind of indominatable spirit.
Our spring has been slow to come this year and this week is downright cold and rainy. I was rooting around in the freezer and found my last bag of frozen rhubarb and since I am still vainly hoping for this year’s crop I decided to use the last gasp of spring 2010.
I didn’t have a recipe for rhubarb muffins so I dug out a recipe that my Gran labelled as “plain muffins” and did a little playing. Simply mix; 2 cups flour, 3 T. sugar, 3 tsp. baking powder, 3/4 cup milk, 2 T. oil and 2 eggs.
Add: 2 cups of rhubarb (fresh or frozen) that has been tossed in 1 cup of icing sugar.
Bake for 12 minutes at 350 (keep in mind every oven is different) and VOILA!
What I will do the next time is make a quick crumble for the top as these were just missing a little sumpin’ sumpin’.