Wednesday, May 20, 2020

In Praise of Sour **And A Giveaway**

by Lilly Jayne
from the Garden Squad mysteries by Julia Henry

It's coming upon rhubarb season, and I for one couldn't be more pleased. I love that wonderfully tart vegetable, and it's complexity. The leaves are large and beautiful. And toxic. Only the stalk is edible. But not edible without some work.

The stalks look like pink celery, but it doesn't taste like it. I can remember watching my mother chop and up when I was a little girl, and begging her for a bite. She gave it to me, and wow. I tried my best not to wince as I chewed, but I didn't make it. Imagine my surprise that night at dinner when she presented a pie made out of the sour stalk. I winced as I took a small bite, and remember squealing in delight. It was wonderful. The next week she made a strawberry rhubarb pie that was as delightful, if not more so. Especially with in season strawberries.

As it turns out, sour is very versatile. Levels of sweetness can be added or adjusted, which means that the vegetable is a wonderful basis for a syrup (2 cups of sugar, one pound of chopped rhubarb, 1 cup of water, a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, boiled and strained. Keep the rhubarb, it's a lovely topping). The syrup is delightful in soda water, in cocktails, or even over ice cream.

Roast rhubarb with a sprinkle of sugar, and it is a wonderful topping. Think about adding it to soup, or pickling it.

The rhubarb window is short. Late in it's season the stalks start taking on the toxicity of the leaves, so it isn't safe to eat. So learn to enjoy it now. At the very least, make a pie.

Tell me, readers, are you a rhubarb fan? How else do you eat it? I'll pick two comments on May 22 to each win a copy of any of my books. 




Julia Henry writes the Garden Squad mysteries. As Julianne Holmes, she wrote the Theater Cop mystery series. She also wrote the Clock Shop mystery series as Julianne Holmes. JHAuthors.com 
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37 comments:

  1. I am not a big rhubarb fan but I will eat it. It makes a great jelly when mixed with canned pie filling and my Aunt made a strawberry rhubarb slab pie that was very tasty. dbahn(at)iw(dot)net

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  2. I love rhubarb pie! Thank you for the chance.
    Jess
    maceoindo at yahoo dot com

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  3. I do not like rhubarb at all but my husband does.
    debby236 at gmail dot com

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  4. I have not often eaten rhubarb on its own but a strawberry-rhubarb pie is pretty good.
    grace dot koshida at gmail dot com

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  5. To be honest with you, I've never had the opportunity to try rhubarb. Evidently it was something my parents didn't care for so it was never around. Hubby isn't a fan at all so it's not something I tried to make. I would LOVE to be somewhere sometime where it was served just so I could taste it. Sounds intriguing!

    Thank you for the fabulous opportunity to win one of your books! Shared and hoping to be one of the fortunate ones selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

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  6. Rhubarb is so versatile and tasty. I have made it many times during the summer. Rhubarb applesauce is tasty and unique. Of course I enjoy Rhubarb pie very much. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  7. I am definitely a rhubarb fan from way back. My mother used to make the best ever rhubarb strawberry pie which the family devoured. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  8. I am not a rhubarb fan myself, and really not a fan of sour. I do like the idea of the roast rhubarb, though. Thank you for the giveaway! aut1063(at)gmail(dot)com

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  9. I love rhubarb pie and jelly.
    Kitten143 (at) Verizon (dot) net

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  10. I love rhubarb pie. My mom made a delicious one.

    Kit3247(at)aol(dot)com

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  11. I have never eaten rhubarb but it sounds tasty. I love pies!
    jwisley(at)aol(dot)com

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  12. I've never had rhubarb. I do like sour things tho, so there's a good chance I'd enjoy it.
    turtle6422 at gmail dot com

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  13. I like strawberry rhubarb pie
    sgiden at verizon(.)net

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  14. I haven't had much rhubarb. The little I've had did not turn me into a fan. :(
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  15. I've actually never tried it, but I'm usually not a fan of sour.
    ryannaward (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  16. Oh yes, strawberry Rhubarb pie is my favorite! tWarner419@aol.com

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  17. I love rhubarb pie. My Dad used to grow it and he made a really good rhubarb bread with it.
    diannekc8(at)gmail(dot)com

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  18. I’ve never had rhubarb, but I’d like to try it. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

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  19. I don't think I've ever had rhubarb. If I did it was a long time ago. Sounds like something worth trying! mbradeen [at] yahoo [dot] com

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  20. I am a rhubarb fan. Last year I found several recipes for it and tried the rhubarb cordial. After soaking the cut pieces in sugar and alcohol, the resulting liquid is poured off and bottled, but I also found that I could then cook the solid pieces with a bit more sugar to serve over ice-cream or pound cake. Good stuff.
    littlelamblst (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  21. I love rhubarb. My grandma had a huge patch and we've transplanted some of it to our house. I'll eat it straight from the garden, in cake or crisp. My favorite is a salad with rhubarb, Jello, and whipped cream. Dump it into a graham cracker crust and you also have an easy dessert.
    kozo8989(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  22. Strawberry rhubarb pie is a family favorite.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

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  23. I have never had rhubarb, so I have to reserve judgment.
    jjs121(at)verizon(dot)net

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  24. I have always wanted to try rhubarb pie; thanks for the encouragement!
    browninggloria(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  25. I did eat Rhubarb pie when I was younger. I have never tried to make one myself as an adult, though. Thanks for bringing back some good memories and thanks for the chance to win. bentleyboy22(at)comcast(dot)net.

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  26. I love rhubarb anything, especially in cobbler or pie. Thanks for the giveaway. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  27. Thank you for this opportunity
    lindalou64 (@)live (dot) com

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  28. I'm not a huge fan of rhubarb and it's been a long time since I've had a pie with it in it. Thanks for the chance.
    ematov (at) comcast (dot) net

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  29. I have never tried rhubarb! lindaherold999(at)gmail(dot)com

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  30. My father liked rhubarb pie, but I will not touch it nor will my mother. I just saw a pie challenge on television using rhubarb. I am surprised at what fruits work well with it. Thank you for a chance to win! Doodlesink(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  31. I love home grown rhubarb. My mother stews it up and serves with vanilla custard.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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  32. my mother in law makes a fabulous strawberry rhubarb pie. cheers (at) MarjimManor 9(Dot) com

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  33. My parents always had a patch of rhubarb growing in their yard and my father loved it cooked into a sauce and them my mother would prepare and egg custard to serve on top of it. It was delicious. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  34. Brittani SticklerMay 21, 2020 at 10:00 AM

    I am a fan of rhubarb! We make a rhubarb upside-down cake, so similar to the pineapple version but with rhubarb :) It's very good, and then you top it with some whipped cream or ice cream and it's perfect for a summer day! sticklerba (at) gmail (dot) com

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  35. I've never had it before, but it is on my list of things to try.
    Theresa Norris
    weceno at yahoo dot com

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  36. My great-grand & grand..used rhubarb a lot, though I'm not a huge fan of it, I always ate it however they dished it up.I used to help them cook, but I've not tried to make rhubarb anything since they both passed. I have the first two paperback books in your Garden Squad mysteries, I'd totally love the 3rd book, Digging Up The Remains!!! Thanks for this chance. Have a great day & always stay safe! nani_geplcs(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  37. In my first foster home many years ago they made me eat rhubarb and I disliked it. Needless to say I know a lot of the Amish have rhubarb sour creme pie that they sell at farmers market. I walk right by it and so does hubby so I am really glad. I love love sour creme though. peggy clayton ptclayton2 at aol.com

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