AMISH COOK: Wild about rhubarb — from growth to goodies

By Lovina Eicher
The Amish Cook

 

Rhubarb finds its way into so many baked goods. It just adds a nice, tart taste to everything. Mom baked with her homegrown rhubarb often, and she never had trouble growing rhubarb.

If you want to start your own rhubarb patch, plant the rhubarb one year and then use it the second year. I have always done this and always had good luck. You don’t use the rhubarb for a year so that you can give the plants time to develop strong roots.

I got my starts from a lady in church and just planted a whole row of them, and every year they get fuller and spread out more. I plant my rhubarb in full sun, because I don’t think the plants do as well in the shade. A lot of times people will plant them right at the edge of their garden. We do this and also put horse manure around the plants in the spring, which seems to help them grow. The rhubarb is one of the first goodies ready to be harvested in the spring, and this recipe is a great way to starting using it.

When I was growing up, we would have rhubarb shortcake a lot of times right out of the oven for supper in the evenings. Mom would sprinkle sugar and cold milk on top.

We never had it for breakfast unless it was left over. My dad wouldn’t put milk on it; he would just eat it warm. I have fixed rhubarb shortcake for my children many times, and some like it more than others.

If we have ice cream in the freezer, they would prefer that ice cream be served with it. We never had that choice growing up.

They don’t act like they care for the milk on the rhubarb like I did when I was younger. The children do really like rhubarb juice and jam.

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