Friday, May 31, 2013

Today I Saw Red - Rhubarb Red

I had heard the rumors that soon, as the weather warmed and the rain diminished that myself and the other interns at Pond Hill Farm would be picking 1,000 pounds of rhubarb. Now, I am going to be perfectly honest...I don't think that before today I could have told you what a rhubarb plant looked like, let alone how one could eat it or what it tasted like. It is quite possible that I once tasted it as a kid, most likely in rhubarb pie or strawberry rhubarb jam. Obviously I hadn't thought much of it because when it was confirmed that this rumor was true, all I could think was where is the rhubarb, what does it look like, and do we really need to pick 1,000 pounds of it?

Pond Hill Farm has in total 157 acres with 90 acres under food production. This size allows Jimmy, the owner of Pond Hill to produce enough of certain crops to sell wholesale and not just to individual customers. This was the case with the 1,000 lb rhubarb order requested by Cherry Capital Foods, a food retailer that works with farmers, growers, and producers only from the state of Michigan. What I didn't know about rhubarb was that it is a vegetable perennial and as we were picking, Jimmy explained that he had planted the rhubarb 10 years ago and it had been coming up annually ever since. When he realized that very little effort was needed to maintain the crop, he decided to plant more eventually granting him the ability satisfy the demand of 1,000lb orders.

Rhubarb is in season in Connecticut so if you happen to come across it at a local farmers market or maybe even in your backyard, think of me and the 1,000 pounds and try it for yourself in these favorite rhubarb recipes:

  • 2 pounds rhubarb, sliced crosswise 3/4 inch thick
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 cup flour; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining 1/2 cup flour and the butter. Pulse until the butter pieces are pea-size. Add brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon. Pulse to combine. Sprinkle over rhubarb.
  3. Bake until rhubarb is tender and topping is golden, 35 to 45 minutes. Serve warm with ice cream, if desired.

This quick, zesty chutney complements almost any meat or poultry.

2 cups diced rhubarb 
3/4 cup diced red apple 
1/2 cup dried cranberries, or cherries
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey 
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more to taste

  1. Combine rhubarb, apple, cranberries (or cherries), onion, water, honey, ginger, vinegar and crushed red pepper to taste in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until rhubarb is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes more. Serve warm or cold.


1 comment:

  1. Pest Control NJ Pest Control Bergen NJ Pest Management Services New Jersey. New Day Pest Control offers pest control, pest management, pest removal, pest extermination, and other pest control services NJ pest extermination