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Perfect Love Affair: Strawberries and Rhubarb

Updated on February 7, 2013

Tangy Rhubarb Stalk

From our garden
From our garden

Strawberries and Rhubarb

©joaniebaby 06/04/2012

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.


Strawberry Plants

Easy to grow
Easy to grow

Strawberry-Rhubarb Combinations

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.

Luscious Strawberries

Nothing better from our garden
Nothing better from our garden

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!

What is your favorite strawberry-rhubarb recipe?

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    • joaniebaby profile image
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      joaniebaby 5 years ago

      Memories are great. Glad to help.

    • bearnmom profile image

      Laura L Scotty 5 years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      You have brought back fond memories of my childhood. My grandfather loved rhubarb and made pies. Thank you for the memory jog.

    • joaniebaby profile image
      Author

      joaniebaby 5 years ago

      What a shame to be allergic to strawberries. You are missing out. But, yes, raspberries would work. Thanks for looking and reading.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      I'm allergic to strawberries but I don't mind Rhubarb. I'm sure this would be good with raspberries also! Thanks for sharing! Take care, Kelley

    • joaniebaby profile image
      Author

      joaniebaby 5 years ago

      There are many, many recipes out there. Hope you find some you will like. Thanks for the comment.

    • profile image

      screaming 5 years ago

      I love Rhubard. I'll have to check out different recipes that I wasn't aware of! voted up.

    • joaniebaby profile image
      Author

      joaniebaby 5 years ago

      Glad to hear it. Maybe you will be another "convert." Thanks lilmama4273 for taking the time to read and comment.

    • profile image

      lilmama4273 5 years ago

      It is funny. My boyfriend really loves Rhubarb. Great recipes I will have to try.