A documentation of my preservation and preparation of local foods as I work through the seasons. This will serve as a reference tool for me in the future and as a sharing guide for family and friends...and anyone else interested. Hopefully, I can offer some useful methods, tips and recipes to share with everyone--be they novice or pro--and encourage them to join me in the exciting world of preserving and cooking with local foods.

Monday, June 6, 2011


Summer baking for me starts with rhubarb.  It seems like someone always has a patch that needs picking, or plenty more from a patch they've already picked.  I never turn it down!  I always try to make rhubarb crisp, a pie and muffins at least once--I like to be sure I'm  appreciating the local foods of the seasons.  I have some good rhubarb recipes below (the best I've found in their class) including a delicious rhubarb punch.  It's perfect for an early summer picnic or party.

Fresh rhubarb can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in a plastic bag, for up to three days.  Keep leaves on until ready to use, then cut off and discard.  Note: The leaves are toxic, do not eat them.

Rhubarb freezes well; wash it and cut in lengths to fit packages.  To best keep its color and flavor, immerse it in boiling water for one min and then cool quickly.  Drain, pat dry and package.

Rhubarb makes excellent jams and sauces for preserving.  It pairs nicely with strawberries in jams or pie.

Rhubarb Muffins               375          25-30 min   12 muffins
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1-1/3 cups sour cream
3 eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups rhubarb pieces

1-1/2 TB sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
--Cream butter and sour cream; Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, soda, cinnamon.  Comine butter mixture with flour mixture and stir just until moist.  Stir in rhubarb.  Fill muffin tins 2/3 full and add topping.  Bake at 350, 25-30 min.  Let stand 5 minutes before removing.

Rhubarb Crisp     350  40-45 min     serves 10-12
5 cups small-diced (1/2") fresh rhubarb
1 cup sugar
1 TBlsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
--Toss together and spread in single layer in greased 9x13 baking dish.
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
--Combine dry ingredients; stir in butter.  Sprinkle over rhubarb.  Bake @ 350 approx 40 min--until rhubarb is tender and juice bubbly,  and topping is lightly browned.  Serve with a little fresh cream poured over top.

Rhubarb Punch
8 cups diced rhubarb (1/2")
2 quarts water
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar  (add more to taste, if needed, after adding pop)
--Put all above in saucepan and simmer until rhubarb soft
Cool a bit, then blend all in blender
Add one large bottle ginger ale or seven up
Chill well OR
Before adding ginger ale, chill in freezer until barely freezing, add pop just before serving


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