Plenty Sweet Life

Grandma's Recipes One By One!

Rhubarb Chutney

Today I’m sharing what is probably the last of my rhubarb recipes for the year – Rhubarb Chutney. This recipe came from a good friend of ours, and it looks like she got it from the April 2003 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine. It’s wonderful to have great friends to help see you through life’s ups and downs. You can never have enough support and help when you need it to see you through. Life has a way of making this so obvious – as my family learned all too well when I was sick. We can’t get through this life and it’s tough situations alone, and why would you want to? As John Donne wrote in his beautiful and appropriate poem, “No Man is an Island”, we all need friends (or at the very least, other people). I’m sure glad I have great ones! In additions to all that mushy stuff – sometimes they even send you wonderful recipes like this one! 🙂

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Chutney

Stir together in a large, heavy saucepan:

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 1/2 cinnamon sticks

1 1/2 Tablespoons minced, fresh ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel

1/2 teaspoon (scant) ground cardamom

Heat until mixture boils and sugar dissolves.

Add:

4 1/2 cups coarsely chopped rhubarb

3/4 cup dried currants (I used raisins because I couldn’t find currants at my store)

4 green onions, chopped

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, about 4 minutes.

Cool to room temperature.

Discard cinnamon.

Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least an hour.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

Into the pot go the first 6 ingredients.

Next, in go the fruit and veggies.

After cooking, cool and then this pretty mixture goes into the frig.

I served this chutney over a pork roast with a potato salad and fruit. Yum!

This chutney is so easy to make and is so delicious . . . omg! It would also be good over ham or chicken breast. I even tried it on top of cream cheese for an appetizer. It was SO good! I spread it on crackers, and it was perfect with a glass of wine. What a great way to end my rhubarb recipes for this year. Life’s so much better with good friends. Why not call up those friends and have a dinner party using this delicious chutney with your favorite main dish, or have them come over for a glass of wine and serve this delicious chutney with cream cheese as an appetizer? You’ll get to enjoy this wonderful Rhubarb Chutney AND your wonderful friends at the same time!

 

 

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Rhubarb Bread Pudding

This recipe for Rhubarb Bread Pudding comes from one of my mom’s friends. I’ve made Bread Pudding since I was in junior high school, but this one is made with rhubarb! Yay! I mean, how great is that? Sometimes you get the best recipes from friends. You go over to their house to visit, maybe for coffee or some event, and you come home with a great recipe for the delicious dish they made for you when you came over. I just love that. Grandma was big on getting recipes from her friends and family. She and her sisters were so good at getting great recipes – mainly because they had a lot of family and friends. Plus, they had a lot of family to make delicious dishes FOR, like the guys in this photo! This one shows Grandma’s brothers, Grandpa, and maybe a cousin or friend – I don’t know who the other guy is. How great is this one using that perspective?!!!

OMG I love this one so much. Whoever took the photo had to get down on their stomach, or put the camera down on the sidewalk, and then take the shot. This was probably taken with one of the old-school cameras where you had to look into the top to see what you were taking a picture of. For those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about – Google it! So cool for back at that time! Because of the brick house, it looks like this one was taken on Grandma’s family farm, which is still there!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Bread Pudding

Mix:

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup milk

2 cups rhubarb

4 slices bread, buttered and cut into cubes

Pour into 9″ square pan or casserole dish.

Sprinkle nutmeg over top.

Bake until 350 degrees or until set, about 45 minutes.

I’m so glad it’s rhubarb season!

I used a 12 grain bread (only because that’s what kind of bread was sitting on my kitchen counter), but any kind of bread will do. Mix verything up and then fold in the rhubarb and bread.

This is such a simple but delicious recipe.

After baking it looks sooo good.

This is really a great recipe to make for last-minute guests, because it’s so quick and easy to make.

I can’t believe how well this recipe fits into my “Nothing But Easy Summer”. It’s SO EASY to make, and it’s SO DELICIOUS! I’ll be making this one every year for years to come – it’s that good. Bring on the last-minute company! I know you’re going to love this easy recipe for Rhubarb Bread Pudding.

 

 

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Rhubarb Jam with Apricot

This recipe for Rhubarb Jam with Apricot is one of the additional recipes on Grandma’s card for Rhubarb Jam. She wrote on her card about 3 other kinds of pie filling that would be good in her recipe for Rhubarb Jam, so I decided to try them all. I’ve already tried Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry, and next up is the Rhubarb Jam with Apricot, which would also be good. I’m sure this is a bit confusing but my original recipe for Rhubarb Jam on Plenty Sweet Life was from one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. Then I found Grandma’s recipe card with her recipe written on it, along with the 3 different flavors she also thought would be good. That’s where the confusion is – the recipe for Rhubarb Jam from the church cookbook and Grandma’s original Rhubarb Jam (from my post for Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry) recipe on her card are basically the same, so I didn’t make that recipe again. Ok. I’m glad we have that straightened out! Whew!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Jam with Apricot

Mix together and let stand overnight:

5 cups rhubarb, chopped

3 cups sugar

Cook 20 minutes.

Stir in:

1 small package strawberry jello

1 can apricot pie filling

Pour into jars.

Store in refrigerator.

I let the rhubarb and sugar sit in the refrigerator overnight, covered with plastic wrap. This makes a nice amount of juice with which to make the jam.

After cooking the rhubarb and sugar mixture for 20 minutes, all you do is stir in the Strawberry Jello and apricot pie filling.

I use a wide mouth funnel to get the jam into the jars without spilling TOO much. There was enough jam for 2 pint sized jars and 3 smaller containers (a taste that went home with my kids).

You can see the chunks of delicious rhubarb in the jam. Oh my goodness, oh my goodness.

I like to use the jam for a topping on yogurt. Don’t forget a little sprinkling of Granola on top, too.

Like most, if not all, of Grandma’s recipes, this jam is absolutely delicious with an apricot flavor that mellowed a bit the next day. It’s so easy to make, and great for a hostess gift if you’re spending a weekend at a cabin, heading to a barbeque, or just want to make someone’s day. We’re keeping it a “Nothing But Easy Summer” by making this easy to make, delicious Rhubarb Jam with Apricot!

 

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Rhubarb Cake

Today’s recipe for Rhubarb Cake comes from a family friend, and my mom’s had this recipe for many years. I’m calling this one Rhubarb Cake, but I have also made Rhubarb Cake with Orange Sauce. I hope that won’t be confusing. I really don’t know if you can ever have TOO MANY rhubarb recipes. Every one is different, everyone is good, every one is a MUST DO. Rhubarb is only here for a such a short time, and unless you freeze some for using next spring, like I did with the rhubarb for this recipe, you have to be quick and make as many recipes as you can. I usually don’t have enough rhubarb to freeze, but I did last year, as you can see in my post for Freezing Rhubarb. That’s how I was able to make this recipe before my rhubarb was quite ready to pick. I get anxious to make rhubarb recipes BEFORE the rhubarb is ready – every spring! It’s good to know that the frozen rhubarb works in this one – and I didn’t even thaw it. Seriously, I just put it in frozen when I stirred it in. “Nothing But Easy Summer”, baby!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Cake

For topping:

Mix together and set aside:

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup nuts, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

For cake:

Cream:

1/2 cup shortening (I used butter)

Add:

1 1/2 cup white sugar

Mix well.

Add:

1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat in:

1 egg

Add alternately to first mixture, beginning and ending with flour:

1 teaspoon baking soda in 1 cup sour milk (1 cup milk plus 1 Tablespoon vinegar)

2 cups plus 1 Tablespoon flour

Stir in:

3 cups rhubarb, finely cut up

Pour batter into 9″ x 13″ metal pan.

Sprinkle topping over cake batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (because I used the frozen rhubarb, it took about an extra 10 minutes to bake).

I like to mix up the topping before starting so I’m ready for it in the end.

I used some frozen rhubarb for this, so I didn’t have this finely cut up – it was just the way I cut it up when I froze it.

Sprinkle on the ginormous amount of topping – yes, it all goes on there!

This cake smells so good when it’s baking! It took a little longer to bake since I used the frozen rhubarb, but other than that – no difference.

You must have the obligatory ice cream or whipped cream with a rhubarb dessert. You just have to.

This one totally fits into the “Nothing But Easy Summer” theme. I love cake that’s very easy to make and very easy to eat – this IS that cake. The topping makes frosting unnecessary, too – more easiness. It’s so delicious, you’re going to want to run right out, pick a bunch of that rhubarb, and make this Rhubarb Cake!

 

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Rhubarb Crisp

I’m not sure where this recipe for Rhubarb Crisp came from, but I found it in my mom’s recipe box. It looks old, so I’d guess it came from Grandma originally, but it’s possible mom got it from someone she worked with years ago. I had to share this photo of my grandma and grandpa with my mom and my uncle because I think there might be some rhubarb growing right behind them. Actually, I’m not too sure that this photo was taken on the farm, but even if it wasn’t, there was probably some rhubarb growing there no matter who’s house it was. Grandma and family were not too into taking family photos that weren’t formal. That’s why this photo is so awesome! It’s just a nice casual photo of a beautiful summer day.

I just love this one!

Grandma grew (and used) as much rhubarb as possible. She had a LOT of rhubarb recipes. Rhubarb was one thing that was ALWAYS in everyone’s garden back in the day. It grows almost like a weed, keeps coming back every year, and it’s absolutely delicious in everything you could possibly bake with it: cakes, pies, desserts, jam, bread or muffins. You could grow it beside your garage, in your garden, or right in the middle of your backyard. The season is short (my mom always says you should only use it until it starts to get “woody”, which is through the end of June, at most) so you have to make the most of it and bake all of your favorite rhubarb recipes while you can.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Crisp

Cut up and put into a 9″ x 13″ pan:

3 cups rhubarb (I used 4 cups)

Beat and pour over to top of the rhubarb:

1 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 Tablespoons quick tapioca

Crumbs for topping – mix together and sprinkle on top of all:

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1/3 cup butter, slightly softened

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

I mixed up the crumb topping first so it was ready to go. You could use a fork, two knives, or a pastry blender, but I just used my fingertips to make it crumbly.

The eggs don’t really need to be beaten before mixing the batter together.

It all mixes up pretty well.

I used 4 cups of rhubarb instead of 3 cups, just because that’s how much I got when I cut up all the stalks that I had picked. I think it could have used even more rhubarb. The batter looks like it will hardly cover all the rhubarb. I used a small spoon and tried to spread it on as evenly as possible.

Over the top of everything goes the crumb topping. Sprinkle it ALL on there!

After baking it really doesn’t look like much.

Oh boy – this is good!

My family decided that this is a keeper. It’s one of the most delicious rhubarb recipes I have ever tried. It really is that good. It got a bit flat, and like I said above, it doesn’t look like much, but boy oh boy, is it good. Seriously, it was almost like candy. Sweet yet tart, crunchy on top yet almost creamy underneath. Mmmmm. You could serve this with whipped cream, but I happened to have some vanilla ice cream – and if you’re going to serve it with ice cream, I highly recommend you serve it warm. Not hot – just warm – and let the ice cream melt and immerse the crisp in all that vanilla, creamy goodness. I know you can find some rhubarb growing somewhere. If you don’t have your own rhubarb plants, get to know your neighbors and see if you could pick just enough from their rhubarb plants to make this delicious Rhubarb Crisp!

 

 

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Freezing Rhubarb

Today we’re going to talk about Freezing Rhubarb. Years ago, when I started making a lot of rhubarb recipes for this blog, my mom told me that she and Grandma didn’t usually use rhubarb after the first of July. This was apparently because the stalks got “woody” and tough and didn’t taste so great. By this time of the summer, I’ve made a lot of rhubarb recipes and because my rhubarb plants were so hugely productive this year (who knows why, but I like it!), I feel the need to preserve some of it for next  year. Unfortunately, some years are less productive, so just in case – we’re going to freeze some so we can use it next winter when we need a little springtime, or in case of a less productive year and we need to supplement the fresh stuff with some frozen stuff.

I have to say, this was the best year that I’ve ever had with my rhubarb plants.

This plant is on the west end of my garage garden (on the south side of our garage).

This plant is on the east end of my garage garden. You can see that the stalks aren’t huge after all the picking I’ve done this spring, but there is still a lot of rhubarb left on these plants, and if you look closer, you can see that there are still shoots coming up and out! Unbelievable! This is AFTER all the rhubarb recipes I’ve made this year and AFTER I’ve picked what I want to freeze. As long as there is this much left, it only makes sense to freeze some and have it ready for next winter and/or spring.

Remove those beautiful big leaves and the little tail parts that pull out of the ground. Wash them well and dry off the stalks.

I cut the stalks into 1/2″ to 1″ pieces. There are usually a few places that are a bit funky on the stalks, whether it’s from bugs munching on them or from their rubbing against my little fence that runs in front of the plants. Just trim off anything funky. You know – yucky.

Seriously – look how pretty!

Try to get the pieces into one single layer on a baking sheet (I might have had a bit too many pieces on this sheet, but they froze just fine and didn’t stick together). You can cover the sheet with parchment paper if you want to, but I didn’t need to do that. Into the freezer for at least one hour so they’ll get frozen, frosty, and firm up.

Out of the freezer and ready to be bagged! Use a large spoon if you’re worried that they’ll thaw too quickly, but I just used my hands because I only had one pan. I did it pretty quickly. Because of freezing them in a single layer and then bagging, you can just measure them when you’re ready to use them instead of measuring while bagging.

Of course, I use freezer zip top bags. Try to get as much air out as you can to prevent freezer burn. I have heard of some people using a straw to suck out the air. I’ve never been able to get the bag closed in time when I do that, so I don’t do it. Go ahead and try it if you want to, but I just press the air out and zip the top shut. Don’t forget to label the bags with a date and what’s inside. I don’t know about you, but there are times when things have been in the freezer too long, you can’t really tell what the heck it is. There. I’m ready for a taste of springtime around, say, about February or March of 2019. I can dream about this all winter: muffins, dessert, Torte, cake, sauce, pie. Maybe I should go out and cut some more – I might not have enough. I need to have some in case it’s an unproductive year, too! Try Freezing Rhubarb and get yourself a taste of spring for next winter!

 

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Rhubarb Dessert

Today’s recipe for Rhubarb Dessert came from my mother-in-law. She got it out of one of HER old church cookbooks, and by the date on the recipe, she just tried this one a couple of years ago. That would just make her 91 years old and still trying new recipes (she’s 93 now)!

This photo is of my in-laws with the wonderful baby who would grow up to marry me!

My mother-in-law sure looks great so soon after having a baby – they were still in the hospital here.

She made a copy of the rhubarb recipe, gave it to my husband when he was down there visiting her one weekend, and told him to give it to me because it was so good! She had made this dessert and then brought some to a neighbor. Well, this is another one that I HAVE to try! Those little ladies who make the church cookbooks really know what they’re doing. It’s amazing how they keep on finding these recipes with a few simple ingredients that are absolutely delicious!

I have to say it – here’s another one of my new favorites!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Dessert

Spread in an 8″ x 12″ pan:

2 cup rhubarb, chopped (I would use 3-4 cups)

Mix together and spread over rhubarb:

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 heaping Tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix:

6 Tablespoons shortening or butter (I used butter)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

Sprinkle mixture over rhubarb.

Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.

I added an extra cup or so of rhubarb and I would put even more in next time. But then, I love rhubarb, and I don’t think you can ever have enough.

Use a gentle hand when spreading the second layer and it will cover it all.

I used my hands to bring the third layer together and then sprinkled it on top of everything.

This smells so amazing while baking – enjoy that.

This is another easy, simple to make, and ridiculously delicious recipe. Take advantage of the rhubarb (if you still have some) and make this tasty dessert that’s even more delicious with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream. You and your family are going to love this Rhubarb Dessert.

 

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Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry

I have made Rhubarb Jam before, but today I’m trying Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry. When I made the first Rhubarb Jam on the blog, I used a recipe that I found in one of Grandma’s old church cookbooks. Then I was looking through Grandma’s recipe cards when I found what is essentially the same recipe written out by her. The only difference is that on the bottom of the card, she had written that using pie filling is good. Well, I mean really, we HAVE to try that! She says that apricot, blueberry, and strawberry pie filling are good. We know strawberry would be good because when making the jam, it calls for Strawberry Jello. I’ll have to try apricot sometime, too, just because I’m curious – how would that taste? Blueberry being my favorite – that’s the one I decided to try now. Would the blueberry overpower the deliciousness of the rhubarb? We shall see (as Grandma would say).

This sounds a bit odd, but here we go.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry

Let stand awhile (I let it stand overnight covered in the refrigerator) so it will give good juice:

5 cups rhubarb, chopped

3 cups sugar

Cook (20 minutes if we want to follow the other recipe for Rhubarb Jam).

Add:

1 small package Strawberry Jello

1 can blueberry pie filling

(I cooked the rhubarb and Strawberry Jello together for 15 minutes – no I didn’t read the other recipe first or I would have seen that you just cook the rhubarb alone first – then I cooked it all together with the pie filling for another 5 minutes. It turned out great anyway!)

Pour into jars and keep in refrigerator.

I let the rhubarb and sugar sit in the refrigerator overnight. It made a lot of nice juice, but didn’t really dissolve the sugar.

I added the Strawberry Jello and cooked it 15 minutes.

Add the blueberry pie filling and cook it another 5 minutes.

I only had pint jars available to me when I made this batch, but half pints would be great for hostess gifts.

I thought the blueberry might overpower the rhubarb, but it didn’t. You still get a definite rhubarb flavor in this jam. It is so good!

You can still see the pieces of rhubarb along with the blueberries in the jam. You need to try a batch of this jam now when rhubarb is plentiful and basically free. This recipe is very easy to do and pretty fast to make. The jam is great on toast, English muffins, angel food cake, pound cake, or ice cream. Any way you want to taste it, you’re going to LOVE this Rhubarb Jam with Blueberry!

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Torte #2

I found this recipe for Rhubarb Torte on the back of another of Grandma’s recipes! Lucky I found it or we might have missed it! Of course, I had to rename it Rhubarb Torte #2 because there has already been a recipe for Rhubarb Torte on this blog. They are similar, but not quite the same. Rhubarb Torte made a 9″ x 13″ pan, and this one makes an 8″ x 8″ pan, and the ingredients are a little bit different. I have to say – and I know I say this A LOT, but this time I really mean it (again) – this is one of my new favorites. This dessert almost makes me forget how good it was when we were kids, to pick a stalk of rhubarb with the big “pop” that would almost make you fall backwards, and then to dip the rhubarb stalks into a cup of sugar and bite that tart and tangy rhubarb even though it was all about getting to lick and/or eat the sugar. I think I love this dessert even more than that. Yep. I’m pretty sure I do. This. Is. So. Good. It’s. Crazy.

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Torte #2

For crust:

Mix:

1 cup flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

a pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, softened

Pat into 8″ x 8″ pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

For filling:

Beat:

3 egg yolks, whites reserved, until thick and lemon colored

Add:

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 Tablespoons flour

1/3 cup cream (I used Half-n-Half)

Mix in:

3 cups chopped rhubarb

Pour onto baked crust.

Bake at 350 degrees another 40-50 minutes.

For meringue:

Whip to stiff peaks:

3 egg whites

Add:

6 Tablespoons sugar

Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes.

I started out using a fork to bring the crust together, but then I dropped it and just got in there with my hands. Then I pressed it into the pan also using my hands, patted it down, and into the oven.

These are again, like almost all of Grandma’s recipes, simple ingredients that make an incredibly delicious dessert.

The filling is also ridiculously easy to make and put on top of the baked crust.

Out it comes from the oven . . .

and on goes the meringue.

I just love this dessert so much.

One of my favorite parts is the pretty little drops of goodness on top of the meringue. The crust browns and almost caramelizes, the filling is sweet but tart from all that rhubarb, and the meringue is fluffy with its pretty little droplets on top. Heaven. I just know you’re going to love how easy and delicious this Rhubarb Torte #2 is.

 

 

 

 

 

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Rhubarb Pie #2

This recipe for Rhubarb Pie #2 is the one Grandma was famous for. It’s unbelievably delicious. I really should have made this rhubarb pie first so it could be #1, but I made another one in 2014, so that one is Rhubarb Pie. There are a couple of people in my family for whom this is one of their top 5 favorites, and that’s saying something. This pie is really one of those things that reminds me of Grandma. The smell of it, the look of it, and the memories of picking rhubarb in the shady garden down in the corner of the yard by the driveway at the farm.

I love this photo of Grandma with her two children: my mom and my uncle. It looks like a beautiful spring day and they’re all dressed up.

They’re so cute!

This pie has a custardy bottom layer that is divine with the tart rhubarb filled upper layer, and then there’s that heavenly layer of meringue over the top of it all. Oh my. Oh yes. Delicious. This card is one where we find the term “plenty sweet”. We just loved the terminology – that’s how “Plenty Sweet Life” came to be!

Of course, note the “V. Good” connotation on this one!

Here is the recipe as I made it:

Rhubarb Pie #2

Have one pie crust prepared, in the pie pan, and ready to go. You can find several recipes in the “Pie Crust” category up the right side of this blog.

Mix together:

1 1/2 cups sugar (she used 1 1/4 cups and it was “plenty sweet”!)

3 Tablespoons flour

3 egg yolks (whites reserved)

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup of Half-n-Half (she said to use 1 1/4 cups used a pint for making two pies – I tried using just 1 cup for 1 pie and it was fine)

Add:

3 cups rhubarb, cut up fine (I just sliced them – I know the pieces were bigger than she would have used, but we like it that way)

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn down to 325 and bake another 40 minutes or until set (I had to bake it another 30 minutes or so).

Whip the 3 reserved egg whites to stiff peaks, adding 2 Tablespoons of sugar per white. Put the whites on top of the hot pie and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes or until browned.

The pie is delicious warm, but when chilled in the refrigerator, it holds it’s shape a little better and is still just as delicious!

I really can’t believe how big my rhubarb is this year – it’s huge! A bumper crop!

Just use any pie crust recipe to have one ready.

Before and after baking – I put the pie on a baking sheet just in case the filling would overflow.

Once the pie is baked, it’s time to put on the meringue. I baked it about 10 minutes.

This is one of the best Rhubarb Pies I have ever made. Period. It’s beautiful.

Just look at this beautiful pie! It tastes even better than it looks – if you can believe that! You’re going to want to try this pie if you have a bumper crop of rhubarb this year like me. This Rhubarb Pie #2 will become a staple in your family, too!

 

 

 

 

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