Saturday, May 5, 2012

Rhubarb Sauce

 When I was a little girl, at this time of year you could always find a bowl of this sauce cooling on our kitchen counter at least once a week.


 My papa was a wonderful cook. He never used a cookbook or a written recipe. He cooked from experience.


 His dad and uncle were butchers and he grew up at their heels learning the trade.  He went on to work for the railroad but he continued to cook for the rest of his life.  I remember him broiling swordfish and picking the bones out with a set of pliers.  And he roasted a leg of lamb better than I have ever tasted since he died when I was 11.


 I have a great taste memory and can still recreate his recipes.

 Though making rhubarb sauce is simple, he had a few tricks for taking it over the top.  The right amount of sugar is very important.  Most recipes call for way too much sugar which ends up ruining the unique taste of the rhubarb.  If I have strawberries available I throw them in to.  This recipe calls for 10 large stalks of rhubarb and a pint of strawberries.  I use only 1/4 cup of sugar.  Also, zest the rind of one lemon into it. 


 Cover and cook over medium heat.


 It will start to boil.  Lower the heat to simmer and stir it from time to time.

 When the fruit has softened, use a pastry cutter or a potato masher to puree it.  I like to leave small chunks.


 Papa always put a pat of butter on top and stirred it in after it melted.


On toasted homemade bread it is fantastic.  Papa and I always butter the toast first.

15 comments:

laurie said...

oh such sweet memories, the little girl you used to be spoke through in this, so nice, we have never put that pat of butter on ours but we will now and I will think of you and your Papa everytime,

Lois said...

Lovely. I have rubarb ready to pick, but alas, no berries yet.

Barbara F. said...

I think I only tasted rhubarb once, in a pie, and it was really sweet. I think your hand is looking very good, a lot less swelling. xo

Barbara F. said...

I think I only tasted rhubarb once, in a pie, and it was really sweet. I think your hand is looking very good, a lot less swelling. xo

edenhills said...

Oh I love rhubarb sauce! We loved to put it over ice cream. :-)

thekitchensgarden said...

well as you can imagiNE i have piles of rhubarb in the gardens. and much to my delight your dads recipe is new to me. I think i might make this this afternoon, wonderful.. thank you for remembering this so well.. c

Nellie said...

Yes! Rhubarb! A favorite around here! We have tried to grow it before, without much success. Our daughter, Muncho Mom, brought a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with her last week-end, then she has posted her recipe on her blog. You make an excellent point in that most recipes require way too much sugar. This just sounds wonderful, especially the homemade bread part.:-)

Yes, you do seem to have a very busy day lined up by the time you get around to everything you have in mind.:-) I'm pulling for the hats!

injoyinmylife said...

I have to admit, I've never tasted rhubarb. I used to make if for my ex-husband because he loved it so. Don't ask me why I didn't try it. Back when I was young I wouldn't try anything if I didn't like the name of it. I didn't even try turkey dressing or cheesecake until I was in my 30s. Silly me, think of all I have missed out on. I still haven't tried pecan pie, I know - you probably think I should be tarred and feathered!

Guillaume said...

I used to have rhubarb jam on my toasts sometimes as a child. I thought it tasted autumnal and mysterious, don't know why.

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

I always think of rhubarb as being so English - it doesn't grow here in Turkey for some reason so I have almost forgotten it. But I can relate to your idea of adding strawberries with only so much sugar - that sounds just right, and then the bit of butter too.. mmm is all I can say...

TARYTERRE said...

Such sweet memories of your papa. I'm glad he lives on in his recipes. My husband LOVES rhubarb. Me not so much. Anything to spread on toast, however, is a MUST have in our house. LOOKS GOOD.

Beverly@Beverly's Back Porch said...

This looks so good I can almost smell it cooking. I like the less sugar idea.

Barb said...

I had to share your blog with my husband. He has such happy memories of his Mother making this!

Ina in Alaska said...

Rhubarb grows like a weed around here. Everyone always has too much rhubarb. When I sometimes pass by while walking the dogs complete strangers will offer to give me rhubarb. It is crazy but I happily accommodate them. Very tasty stuff!

Joy said...

I miss rhubarb season, but not as much as I miss pork. ;-) Lovely story - thanks for sharing!