Thursday, 29 May 2014

Bumper Crop of Rhubarb

Three days ago, the rhubarb was only 6 inches tall.   The next day I pulled seed heads from it, to prolong it's harvest period, because 1 day just really wasn't enough.  It sure is playing catch up rather quickly,  from the cold spring weather.   Yesterday I made rhubarb apple crisp.   I made a 9 x 13 pan, for three of us, which lasted mere moments and might I add, I had only one small serving!

  Our rhubarb is a mix of a soft, pale red and white types.  I've thought about digging it up and planting some of the deep red varieties, but having an already established rhubarb patch, which is growing well, seems better than putting in the time to establish a new patch, even if it would make prettier, rosy red baked goods.

Today I started picking rhubarb to freeze.  I took off the leaves outside.  The leaves contain oxalic acid, which is a bit toxic. It makes an interesting mordant for nature dyeing but not something you want in the house or to risk eating.  I tossed the leaves into the compost pile.

 I rinsed the stalks in cool water to remove grit and critters.  Luckily there was only one little beetle-like bug on them.  I actually measured it out yesterday when I was making the crisp, and tried it again today.  Two stalks chopped, measure about 1 cup in volume.   Skinny stalks a little less, but close enough.

Of course I started all this before I checked to make sure I had freezer bags.  I did, but only the large size.   I grabbed some regular sandwich sized bags and portioned 2 cups of chopped rhubarb into each.  I did first try it in the large, heavy weight bags, but it seemed like such a waste of space and materials, so I dumped it into the smaller bag.   I had 7 cups of rhubarb.  I'll go out later and harvest a bit more to make up the last little bit to make a 4th bag.   I squeezed out as much air as I could from each small sandwich bag.  

Then I zipped them shut and put them into the freezer bag.  I keep a handy indelible marker in the kitchen junk drawer for marking items with dates.  In this case, I also put quantities on.  I find this important because while I remember most of the quantities, there is always something which makes me wonder what was I doing when I tossed these items in the freezer without any details.  I didn't mark the month down as rhubarb has such a short season that it shouldn't really matter.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

Wow! I am so jealous. My attempts at growing rhubarb failed. It did well till mid summer scorching sun became the daily norm, LOL