We grow alot of rhubarb on our plot. A large, healthy bed of it was left by the last plot holder and we never had the heart to do anything dramatic with it as it's right next to the pond and the frogs and newts love the cover of the large, shady leaves during the summer months. The bed contains seven very healthy crowns that produce a hearty crop each year.
"So what's the problem with this?" I hear you ask. Well, the major problem is that nobody in our house actually likes eating the stuff! My Dad will take a little off us, as will be best pal who lives round the corner from the plot and some colleagues at work but, apart from that, the majority of our yearly haul normally goes to waste.
Over the last couple of weeks this year's crop has started to come into its own and I got thinking about my dislike of rhubarb...
"Do I actually not like it?" I asked myself. "Or do I think I don't like it after some horrible experience as a child eating soggy, overcooked rhubarb?"
On reflection I realised that my dislike was probably based upon the latter, and that's the reason why 2011 is the year of the rhubarb in our house. I'm trying as many different recipes as I can to see what this versatile crop has to offer and to see if I've actually not been being a little bit unkind in my prejudice against it.
Last night I started with Stewed Rhubarb with a Vanilla and Yoghurt courtesy of Jamie Oliver. I'm not normally a fan of Mr O and his recipes but this stuff is really good and was a great treat after a long day (though I have to admit I served it with custard rather than yoghurt!) So a rhubarb recipe I actually like? Who'd have thought it? Next I'm planning to have a go of making Rhubarb Chutney using a recipe from Monty Don's book, "Fork to Fork", which is, incidentally, a wonderful book for anyone who's interested in home grown, season food.