The Birth of Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy

 Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy came to be out of two separate events in my life. My youngest son loved to cook with me. At an early age he declared he wanted to open a restaurant when he was older, called "Tyler's Yummy in Your Tummy" He never did open that restaurant but I loved the name and decided to use it for my Blog on Cooking and Recipes.

 "Ollie" replaced the name "Tyler" in the title simply because that same son suggested the nickname Ollie when my first grandchild was born. My middle name is Olive after my Grandmother, and I became Grandma Ollie to my grandchildren. And thus Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy was born!

 This blog will be a collection of recipes - family, my own, and any others I can find in my collection. I've been cooking for almost 50 years - having started as a pre-teen. In Ollie's Yummy in Your Tummy I'll share my favourite recipes, tips and techniques with you.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Harvesting Rhubarb, Freezing it and Saving Some for Rhubarb Muffins

I love rhubarb. As a kid we always had some growing in the backyard. I used to go out with a dish of sugar, break off a stalk (discard the poisonous leaf of course!), dip the rhubarb in the sugar and start eating. MMmmmmm I still remember how good that was!

You can do many things with rhubarb. You can freeze it and use it all winter. You can stew it and either eat it poured over ice cream, by itself or a myriad of ways. You can also freeze or preserve stewed rhubarb. You can bake pies or muffins, make jam... the list of what you can do with rhubarb is endless!

I used to make rhubarb custard pie when my kids were younger. I confess I haven't made one in more than 15 years. As much as I love them I eat way too much when I make them. My favourite food to make with rhubarb is Rhubarb Muffins.  There's something about them that just cries out GOODNESS! HEALTH! YUMMY!

When I moved from town (where I had my own little patch of rhubarb growing in the backyard) I made my new husband dig up the rhubarb to replant out here in the country. It took a few years but it grew. And it spread. Rhubarb is tenacious and hardy, it takes a lot to kill it. My two plants had huge mounds of earth dumped on them and one actually survived and sprang up from the earth mound a year later. So this year hubs tilled a huge garden (30x40 feet) around that lonely rhubarb plant. He set out railroad ties in a square about 12x12 around that one rhubarb plant and we are going to help it spread.

Today I decided I better harvest some as it seems to be loving the new freedom it has and I swear it's spreading already. The way I harvest rhubarb is to take a very sharp butcher knife and using it like a machete, I chop the rhubarb as far down the stalk to the ground as I can reach.

Then I hold the stalk and with one swing, chop the poisonous leaf off. I put the leaves into a tub for hubs to dispose of, and the stalks go into my bucket.

After you have harvested the rhubarb you want, bring it in the house and put it in a sink of cold water to wash any dirt or bugs off.

Next lay your rhubarb out to dry. When it's completely dry, I cut it into 1 inch lengths. Some people prefer it to be in 2 inch lengths. Then I put it into small freezer bags, make sure all the air is gone from the bag and then seal and label it.

I like to freeze rhubarb in the amounts I will need for making muffins or for stewing a small amount for hubs and I to enjoy with vanilla ice cream.

I just finished chopping and putting the rhubarb in small ziplock bags for the freezer and am happy to say I got about 12 cups of rhubarb harvested today. 

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