Don’t pick rhubarb the year you plant it. Instead, pick lightly the second season. Do not remove more than two-thirds of the stalks at a time.
To freeze, wash and chop stalks into small pieces, seal them in plastic bags and pop in the freezer.
Rhubarb Cheesecake Smoothies
2 cups diced fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/4 cup water
4 tablespoons honey, divided
1 and one-half cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen sweetened sliced strawberries
2 packages (3 ounces each) cream cheese, cubed
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
5 ice cubes
In a large saucepan, bring the rhubarb, water and 2 tablespoons honey to a boil.
Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.
Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature. In a blender, combine the ice cream, milk, rhubarb mixture, strawberries, cream cheese, yogurt, confectioners’ sugar, ice cubes and remaining honey.
Cover and process for 1 minute or until smooth. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings
Orange-Rhubarb Breakfast Bread
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tsp grated orange peel/zest
In large mixing bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg.
Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg; add to creamed mixture alternately with orange juice.
Fold in the rhubarb, almonds and orange peel. Spoon into a greased 9-by-5-by-3 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack. Makes 1 loaf.
Note: If using frozen rhubarb measure rhubarb while frozen, thaw and drain in colander (not pressing liquid out.)
Patricia Altomare invites your letters. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.