Monday, May 10, 2010

Delicious Rhubarb

Each day I plan ahead and decide what our day will be like and what will we eat. Many times our garden is the springboard to deciding what will be on our evening table or snack. Even though our weather lately has been changing dramatically from one day to the next, our perennials continue to grow without falter and each trip to the garden offers a special treat. As the asparagus continues to grow and provide fresh vegetables to our table now we find our rhubarb is in season.

People seem to have mixed emotions about rhubarb either they love it or they don't. So many recipes combining strawberries or other fruit with rhubarb are all very popular. One of our favorite selling items is our "Strawberry/Rhubarb Jam". It is an unbeatable combination of sweet and sour. However, the strawberries are not ready in the Champlain Valley yet and I rather use our own home grown ingredients or local ones when making food for our family and customers.

At our house, harvesting rhubarb can be tricky. It is a mission that must be completed when the children are not watching. If our children get to the rhubarb before me they will eat it or turned into something for an invention and I will find the remains of rhubarb all over our lawn for the next week. Fortunately, I got the rhubarb first!

This is a delicious use for rhubarb. Try this recipe with your own rhubarb fresh or frozen, or with rhubarb purchased from your local market. You will be pleasantly surprised with a few basic ingredients you can make something so yummy.

Rhubarb Oatmeal Bars

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sliced rhubarb(fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons of corn starch
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all the ingredients for the crust until it is crumbly. Place half of the mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish and pat out.
In a saucepan place all the ingredients to make the filling mixture. Cook on medium temperature until the mixture becomes clear and thickens. Pour mixture over crust. Spread remain crumbled mixture over filling and place in oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cool and with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.