Guest post by LaManda Joy*
The first thing I planted in my Yarden was rhubarb. Coincidentally this was also the first thing my parents planted when we moved to our new home in 1971. That old rhubarb plant is still producing years later and is the first indicator of spring on our hill in Oregon. As soon as the plant starts producing its pretty red/green stalks, my mother makes MELTED RHUBARB. Traditionally this would probably be known as "compote" but, whatever you call it, it was (and is) my favorite spring delight. This can be used on ice cream, to make rhubarb shortcake or just eaten with a spoon warm out of the pan (my favorite method). Enjoy!
- Sugar (white or brown)
Pull rhubarb stalks, remove and discard the leaves (they're toxic). Chop the rhubarb into 1" pieces and wash them. Shake some, but not all, of the water off and put the rhubarb in a big saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the rhubarb "melt". Rhubarb is tart so you'll need to add sugar to your liking - white sugar or brown sugar both work. Brown sugar gives it a little more carmel-like flavor. Stir occasionally and turn down the heat as the rhubarb gets stringy and more liquid. That's all it takes.
NOTE: If fresh, trim ends and cut lengthwise into ¾” pieces. Remember—only the rhubarb stalk is edible. Be sure to trim the roots and leaves completely, as they are poisonous to humans.
*LaManda Joy is an award-winning Master Gardener, author of the popular urban gardening blog "The Yarden", a Square Foot Gardening Certified Instructor and founder of The Peterson Garden Project, a community and edible garden education program in Chicago, Illinois. LaManda is a featured individual in ourGrow Inspired Films Series, which celebrates folks whose generosity, hard work and connection with the outdoors inspires us every day.