Monday, June 4, 2007

When are Flowers Undesirable?

When they are on top of rhubarb this early in the spring!

Some of these flowers are over 3 feet tall. Rhubarb should not flower and set seed until mid summer. This unwanted flowering is called "bolting" and it is not a good thing.

Most of the rhubarb stalks are hollow so I think it's time to rejuvenate this very old unknown cultivar. It came from a friend's family garden. His parents are in their 80's and it probably came from their parents.

Rhubarb crowns are not easy to dig out so I called upon DH for this job. I was too tired from the 9 hours I had already spent digging and hauling wheelbarrow loads of weeds (11 heavy loads to be exact). He had them out in the time it took me to haul two more loads of leaves and stalks away. Oh, the brute strength of that man of mine.

I rinsed off the mess to see what I had. I've never divided rhubarb before and really had no idea of the proper way to do it.

Hmmm...even after cleaning it off, I still didin't know what to do, so I just hacked off a smaller piece that had some eyes and layed it about 5 inches into the hole. I brought in some top soil from that mountain of dirt (that's messing up my garden longview pictures) to cover it.

I threw away all the rest.

Looks pretty bare now doesn't it? I think it will take a couple of years before it produces edible stalks. That's fine because I don't use it much anyway. DH hates it. I've given up trying to sneak it into different dishes because he always knows what it is.
I, however, do enjoy it. So now and then I make something.

Today I found enough stalks that were not hollow to make these muffins that Sandy posted.

I can't believe that after all the work I did yesterday, I still felt like making muffins. It felt like the old me coming back!

These muffins make me feel like I am eating health food. They are not sweet at all. There is only 1/2 cup of brown sugar in the recipe and it makes 2 dozen. I thought the bits of rhubarb might be too tangy with so little sugar, but they really gave just the right bit of punch to each bite. I will be taking these to work. They are all wrapped in twos and frozen for when I want them.

Thanks, Sandy, for sharing your recipe.

Boy, last night I just couldn't fall asleep. I watched "Who Will be the Next FoodTV Star" until 11:00 p.m., then I tossed and turned until nearly 1:00 a.m. The alarm jarred me awake at 5:00 a.m. Now I must shower and do the get-ready-for-work routine.

Have a great Monday! I hope I can stay awake.


  1. The rhubarb I have never flowers at all. I guess mine is not an old cultivar though. How fascinating to have nice "old" plants like that.

  2. As you say, not good when it flowers like that this early! Ours only does that at the end of the summer. My rhubarb is ready to use now so I was going through some of my recipes...I think I'll check out these muffins, they sure do look and sound delish!! xox

  3. Hi Zoey, I've never grown rhubarb but I do like it in small amounts:) I was looking at all of your pictures of your yard. It is simply beautiful I love the old wagon wheels and the milk can.

    You sound like me, My energy comes in spurts I don't have it everyday like I used to.
    Take care,

  4. Hi Zoey,
    Have you priced rhubarb in the store lately? Yikes!! You have a fortune sitting there if it all produces again!!
    Those muffins look and sound yummy!

  5. I don't know, Karen. I think I might prefer the nice new kind that does not flower. :)

    Pea, do you make rhubarb jam? I've made that one with the jello and it was quite good.

    Hi Pat, I haven't had energy like that since last year. LOL. I hope it sticks with me for a while!

    susie, I haven't ever priced it. Now that I don't have any, I will probably want some and have to go buy it!

  6. The muffins look good - I'm going to have to try them (with rhubarb that's in the freezer from last year - check out my post today. Gave me a good chuckle when I saw your post!!)

  7. I love Rhubarb! I miss Rhubarb! Haven't had any since I moved from Wisconsin. My fav... rhubarb sauce. Yes, my Mom's plain ole rhubarb sauce. Warm of course. Yumo!

  8. Zoey, my Mom makes rhubarb jelly too...with strawberry jello and crushed pineapple....everyone raves about delish !!!

  9. I've never cared for the taste of rhubarb but I love the color of the stalks, and your muffins look great! You blog before you go to work? I'd never get there!

  10. Glad you liked them! My neighbor thought I forgot the sugar. I think people get used to eating the commercial ones that have the texture and taste of cake. I do wish I had added wheat germ to these, though.


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