Friday, June 11, 2010


A friend gave me some rhubarb - nice big thick stalks, lots of juice and not woody. In fact after I chopped 8 cups of it I had about a cup of juice in the bottom of my bowl!

I have some wild rhubarb in the yard - quick tall and starting to flower. This isn't the type of rhubarb that you can eat and in fact, I've just found out that the juice of the plant when combined with sunlight, can actually burn your skin.

I have two friends who on separate occasions were wacking through some wild rhubarb and accidentally got some juice on their skin. Both of them developed blisters and burns on their arms and legs. They had scars for months afterward. I had no idea that this plant was so toxic and am glad I found out before falling victim. I did break off a few stacks of those plants that were starting to flower and obstructed the view from the master bedroom but I guess I was careful enough not to get it on my skin. If I remember right, I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt but I had gloves on. I need to get out there and really clomp down some big bushes. They all kind of got away from me when I was gone earlier in May.

I was looking for information on this toxic effect, when I came across this resource on edible plants in the north: There aren't many good resources for things like this so I thought I would pass it on.

But the stalks of domesticated rhubarb sure are good!

Rhubarb-Ginger Jam
I made some of this last year and it sure was good! I'm planning on make some more when I get a chance. I won't use the cracked ginger that I used last year. It never really softened up and got stuck in my teeth! I'm going to stick with the crystallized ginger.

Rhubarb Salsa

2 c chopped rhubarb
1/2 chopped onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 T lime juice
1 T diced jalapenos
1/8 c sugar

Simmer together until rhubarb is soft. Makes about 1 cup

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