I've heard it for years . . . "will the rain will spoil the rhubarb?" Is it just small talk or does it have some other meaning? Well, it's raining as I write this and I wonder . . .
As promised, here's another way to use rhubarb . . . and if the rain doesn't spoil it, we can harvest to your order!
I've been making this rhubarb crisp for years and it's always a success at potlucks. I imagine one could include strawberries when they're in season as well. I've also used the basic recipe and substituted blueberries (cutting down on the sugar, of course!).
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
1 1/2 cups brown sugar (packed)
1 cup rolled oats (either quick or old fashioned)
1/2 cup oat bran or wheat bran (if you don't have it, substitute another 1/2 cup of oats)
2 tsp. cinnamon
Combine above ingredients in a large bowl. Add 10 Tb. melted butter and stir to make a crumbly mixture. Press half the mixture evenly on the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking pan.
Cut 2 lbs. (about 8 cups) rhubarb (cut into 1-inch pieces) on top of of crust.
Combine 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/4 cup cornstarch in medium saucepan. Add 2 cups water and heat to boiling. Boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tsp. vanilla. Pour over rhubarb.
Sprinkle remaining crumb mixture over rhubarb and bake in 350-degree oven until bubbly around the edges (about an hour).
It's wonderful served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
I've also made a half recipe and baked it in a 9-inch pan.