Tuesday, 22 May 2012

More Rhubarb...great weekend

Well, this May Long weekend went by in a hurry.  I never get everything done that I want to get done. Funny how kids, and just life in general get in the way, oh ya maybe Mother Nature too.  One day we have OK weather, the next it's raining and then it's a scorching hot beautiful day and you try to jam pack all the yard work into one single solitary day, and not ignore your children, and try to remember to feed everyone lunch, and still try to keep working, mowing, raking, weed whacking, digging, pulling, wheelbarrowing, driving a child and her bicycle to a friends house, picking up that same child and bringing she and her friend back home to play even more, taking pictures of kids riding on a pallet being pulled by the quad runner for weight to drag and level the driveway and haul some rocks away, running to the back yard to see your other children do flips and moves on the trampoline and balance beam, throw a ball or two for your favourite hairy four legged buddy,  make sure the little dog you are looking after for your parents doesn't run up to the road and get hit by a car, and.....whew.....practically all was completed in a matter of one day.  We all worked together, managed to have some laughs, and smiles, and out yard no longer looks abandoned.  We have two acres of land, of which a good chunk is lawn, thankfully we have a riding tractor, and the kids take turns on that, the rest is push mower and weed whacker fun.  I live on the edge and weed whack without ear and eye protection and no steel toes either, ya I'm a risk taker, or just dumb, whatever you wish.  I have a few different gardens and they do get neglected from time to time, I know hard to believe and all, so I tackled my center island garden yesterday.  We have a circular driveway and this is the center piece, lol...
So mostly it just need to be weeded, and trimmed back a bit.  We have had that old cast iron fire hydrant for a few years now, and finally got it 'planted', sanded and painted by my youngest daughter and hubby (hubby is a fire fighter) and it looks great.  We live rurally and certainly don't have fire hydrants out our way, all just for decoration and cool factor.

I did get a little sun as well, ya, another living on the edge moment, that I will totally agree was dumb for sure.  I never even thought about it as I headed outside first thing in the morning, as my fam was having french toast, made by hubby, I was mowing my first patch of lawn.  When I get motivated I gotta do it, or it will be lost and I will be on to something else, probably of less importance.  Anyway by the time I had to drive my daughter to her friend's house, and change out of my most righteously fashionable yard working ensemble , by order of my daughter, who really didn't even want me pulling into her friend's driveway for fear that I may be spotted looking my absolute best sweaty, dirtiest.  I took note that my shoulders were feeling a bit off, and once I returned home after the short drive I realized for certain that I had got my first and last sunburn of this year.  I have about 17 bottles of different kinds of sunscreen, baby, waterproof, spray on, wipe on, purple on work in till clear, small bottles, large bottles, compact, travel size, purse size with a carabiner clip and still I was dumb enough to go outside without any...dumb! dumb! dumb!  I am blond, fair skinned and burn instantly, really I only get a darker shade of ivory over the course of summer, tan is a foreign word to me, honestly.  OK enough ranting, on to......R H U B A R B.

I love rhubarb, first of all it's free, and second it's tartness is so dang yummy.  From picking it fresh and dipping in sugar, ya feel your cheeks suck in, that's what I'm talking about, tart yumminess.  To stewing, to baking, to making jam, it's all good.  I can't wait to have my sprouted grain toast with rhubarb jam in the morning.  Bah, who am I kidding I could eat that jam with a spoon, never mind on toast, kind of like 'medicine'.  Ya, medicine, that's it.  I will admit that I licked the pot clean after jarring up my batch.  I just use the recipe in the Certo box for all my jams, I have learned which ones to tweak and how to ensure setting of the jam or jelly.  I am a regular jam and jelly maker with the fruits and vegies of the season.  I am actually typing to the sound of my jars 'snapping'.  The sound of success, right there.  Even if the jam or jelly doesn't set, put it in the fridge and use it up right away.  Give some jars away to friends and family with instructions to refrigerate.  The taste will be the same, and should not go to waste.  It's all good, who cares, change the name to sauce instead of jam, who needs to know, heehee :)
Now when I say I have a hardy batch of rhubarb, I'm not kidding, you will notice in my pic that not all the leaves are even on the trees yet, and my patch is huge, under those large, umbrella like leaves are seed pods already beginning to form, and some who live very near to me aren't even able to use their rhubarb yet.
I love it.  I actually think it loves the iceberg rock it grows next to.  That rock is enormous and we had to build our house away from it, as it was too large to move without going broke trying to blast it outta there.  It only grows under the ground, I think it goes to China, seriously...It's the base to our kids snow hill to slide and play on in the winter, or at least when they were young and would actually 'play' outside, lol.

Well, we didn't build anything, and we didn't get any new 'treasures' this weekend, as I stayed pretty close to home, we just hung out, kids had fun, we watched movies during the rain.  My parents are off on their journey in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland and I have their little dog for a few weeks.  She likes me, I know it, and I like having a small dog around to cuddle up with on the couch with my blanket and coffee on yet another rainy greyish looking day.  It keeps the forest fires down, and the grass green, so that keeps me smiling.
What's your favourite rhubarb treat, do you have one or are you not a rhubarb lover?  Please share with me as I am always open to new ideas for recipes.
Have a great week.

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