Perfect Love Affair: Strawberries and Rhubarb
Tangy Rhubarb Stalk
Strawberries and Rhubarb
Love or hate it? That's the way it is with rhubarb. Our family loves it and we use it in so many different ways. But it is almost always combined with strawberries in some way. We prefer the smaller, redder rhubarb since it is somewhat less tart and gives all recipes a deep rich color.
Can you actually combine a fruit and a vegetable to make desserts, jams, muffins, breads, etc? Definitely so. Some people call rhubarb a fruit and some a vegetable. The Meriam-Webster Dictionary gives this definition: rhu-barb: a garden plant with edible juicy petioles. In www.ask.com/wiki/Rhubarb you can read that rhubarb is a vegetable, a relative of garden sorrel. Whatever you call it, it is tangy and tasty and grows quite prolifically. If you have none growing in your garden, your neighbor probably does and will be more than willing to share.
The favorite recipe in which to use rhubarb at our house is frozen-strawberry rhubarb jam made with jello. As soon as the first spikes of rhubarb are large enough to cut in the spring, a batch of this jam is made and devoured. The jam can be used on toast, pancakes, french toast, and ice cream. My daughter-in-law even eats it right out of the jar. She is very conscious of what she eats, but that is one thing she cannot resist. Since she is not eating bread or pancakes now, she eats the jam by itself.
- Frozen Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam Made With Jello
Make some of this delicious strawberry-rhubarb jam and your family and friends will ask for it over and over. So tasty and easy to make.
The next favorite recipe using strawberries and rhubarb is pie. The tartness of the rhubarb and the sweetness of the strawberries is just the right combination of flavors and color. You can find a recipe for this pie in most any cookbook and it is extremely easy to make. All you need is a double piecrust, strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, flour or tapioca, and butter. In the spring when the rhubarb is extremely tender and juicy, your pie will be runny and probably not thicken. My first pie this spring was extremely juicy and I even used both flour and tapioca for thickening. But my husband raved about the pie no matter what it looked like.
When we lived on the farm and had a mulberry tree, my husband would say that mulberry/rhubarb pie was his favorite. Since it is so difficult to find mulberry trees now, we haven't had that special treat for many years. One thing we always remembered about that pie was that it left your teeth and tongue blue from the mulberries.
Other Strawberry-Rhubarb Uses
There is no end of recipes for strawberries and rhubarb, or rhubarb and strawberry jello. They include strawberry-rhubarb crisp, tarts, slush, squares, shortcakes, turnovers, sauce, calzone, and angel cake, just to mention a few. You can find many of these recipes at www.cook.com. Then search for strawberry-rhubarb recipes. When you try one, you will be a fan for life or you will never want to try another one. Like I said at the beginning, this is a love/hate relationship. Either you love them or you hate them. Hopefully, you will love them as much as our family does. HAPPY COOKING AND EATING!