Sunday, June 22, 2014

Rhubarb: A serenade & a muffin

Rhubarb cake & rhubarb compott, both bring instant happy childhood memories :).

Rhubarb is a pretty hardy plant that is easy to grow, and often grows in masses. You would not know it here in California, where Rhubarb is priced as if a truffle pig had to scout it out. Last year, I decided to plant my own in my front yard, where I am slowly removing the weeds lawn to make way for food. I do not water things I cannot eat. Even though rhubarb thrives in cooler climates, I decided that "I" am going to be a pioneer woman and grow rhubarb anyways....even if my summer average is a smoldering 100+ degrees. My plant actually grew, but my neighbor, whose over-sprinkling seemed like a blessing at first (I generally forget to water),  sprinkled too much and the plant literally drowned.  So in January I planted two new plants and a wall to safe guard them from the killer sprinkler, and by the end of January I saw the little heads of my old plants come back! EUREKA!!!

Rhubarb should not be harvested until the second year, so I am now harvesting my old plants :). I

have green rhubarb, just so you don't get think I am confused when you see the pictures! Today I got a big batch that looked like it wanted to get out of the heat.  You can store fresh rhubarb in a bucket with some water, just place it with the "root" side down in the water. I would not keep it this way for longer than a day. If you need longer, cut and put in the fridge in airtight containers (a few days), or freeze.

Since we are road tripping tomorrow, I made muffins. While looking for recipes, I found the coolest site, all about rhubarb and fittingly named! I used their Rhubarb-Buttermilk recipe, but adapted it to fit my food:

WARNING: If you do not eat sugar, or butter, my recipes will offend you. I eat both. They make me happy.


1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup salad oil coconut oil (I don't even know what that is.)
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract (I used home made Bourbon Vanilla! Yum! Just soak 
pods in bourbon or rum!)
1 cup buttermilk kefir (I make kefir, always use it in lieu of buttermilk)
1 1/2 cups finely diced rhubarb
1/2 cups pecan pieces almond slivers. I did not put them in the mix, 
sprinkled them on top for crunch.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour white spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Topping: I completely omitted this. First, I only use butter. Second, I rather put the butter on my 
mmuffin :)

1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp melted margarine


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 24 18 medium-sized muffin cups.
  • Combine in large bowl: brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Stir into mixture buttermilk, rhubarb, and pecans.
  • In another bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture all at once to rhubarb mixture and stir until all ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.
  • Fill prepared muffin pan 3/4 full with batter.
  • Quickly combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of batter in each muffin cup.
  • Bake in preheated oven on center shelf 15 to 20 minutes.

I also chopped up some rhubarb for compott. Easiest thing in the world, and tastes great on joghurt, pancakes, oatmeal, etc.

Chop rhubarb in 1/2 inch pieces. Put in pot, cover the bottom with a bit of water. Add some brown
sugar (to taste!), a cinnamon stick, and some cloves. Simmer until the rhubard is soft. Do not overcook, or you will have jam! You can add strawberries to this, they work nice together!
Put it in a mason jar, and store in the fridge for easy access!

Rhubarb freezes well too! Just chop in small pieces, and freeze. I like to write how many cups are in the bag on the bag. This way I can use it to make rhubarb jam (delicious, and a family favorite) in
the winter. Or I will just heat it up for compott or pie filling. 

So here is my muffin, my wine, my computer :). The perfect late night study snack. Happy Solstice to you!

Much love, Heike