Word on the
I hope you didn’t get sick of reading about rhubarb last week because there’s more to learn, believe it or not. I am just fascinated that I have worked in Sumner for more than 30 years and am just now learning all this information about rhubarb. Guess I was just too focused on all the yellow daffodils we had here in the valley.
I thought I’d start with when rhubarb season begins and ends. You’d think that would be a simple thing to learn. Kind of like the daffodils. We all know they bloom in the spring. But rhubarb isn’t a one-shot deal and it depends on the type. Hothouse rhubarb, for example, is available from January to April. Fresh rhubarb is available from March through the end of August. If you are a rhubarb fan, though, the good news is that 70 percent of the rhubarb crop is frozen using the individually quick frozen process and is available all year.
The Washington Rhubarb Growers Association was founded in 1937 and at one point was the largest shipper of fresh and frozen rhubarb in the country. Today the group includes seven local growers, all dedicated to producing the finest quality product on the market. In fact, two of the wines we serve at our annual wine walk events come from Hoodsport Winery and Spyder Lake Winery, and both use our local fresh rhubarb in their winemaking process.
I know this is kind of old-fashioned, but this week I’m going to include a recipe I got from the vintage memorabilia I’ve recently collected here in the SDA office. There are about 30 recipes included in the rhubarb recipe pamphlet which is still being produced. It includes everything from rhubarb cake to rhubarb marmalade to golden rhubarb pudding and just about everything in between. One of our members, though, tried the pie recipe and whole heartedly recommends it. The Washington Rhubarb Growers Association even made and used photo ads for the pie because it was so successful. So if you make it, feel free to write and let me know what you think. Who knows? I may use your comments in some of our Rhubarb Pie Capital of the World branding ads that we’re working on.
Rhubarb Custard Pie
2 cups rhubarb, cooked and unsweetened (about 1 pound)
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Cook the rhubarb in the top of a double boiler without any water. Mix the sugar and cornstarch and add to the rhubarb. Cook until creamy. Add butter and pour over beaten egg yolks. Return to double boiler and cook just until the yolks are also thickened. Cool slightly, pour into a baked pie shell and top with a meringue made by beating the egg whites with 6 tablespoons of sugar. Brown lightly in a slow oven.
If you would like some fresh rhubarb from the Washington Rhubarb Growers Association they will sell it to you by the box. Call them at 253-863-7333.