Rhubarb Sauce Made Simple

Posted on May 20, 2013. Filed under: Food Made Simple, Health, Plants | Tags: , , , , , |

Food - Rhubarb sauce 1 Food - Rhubarb sauce 2 Food - Rhubarb sauce 3

My rhubarb plants are coming along nicely, even the babies I put in last year look robust, though they do have shorter stems at this point.  I’m still harvesting them, though!  Why are they doing so well?  First, I discovered that urine is a fantastic fertilizer.  Now don’t get squeamish on me.  This is a natural resource we all produce, why not use it?  Read this:

“Urine is chock full of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which are the nutrients plants need to thrive—and the main ingredients in common mineral fertilizers. There is, of course, a steady supply of this man-made plant food: an adult on a typical Western diet urinates about 500 liters a year, enough to fill three standard bathtubs. And despite the gross-out potential, urine is practically sterile when it leaves the body, Heinonen-Tanski pointed out. Unlike feces, which can carry bacteria like salmonella and E. coli, urine poses no health risks—astronauts on the International Space Station even drink the stuff—after it’s purified.”  Quote from Scientific American.

The key is diluting it.  So my watering cans get a dose of the “special sauce” as my dad likes to call it, about 1:10.  Earlier in spring the rhubarb didn’t look quite as robust as it does today after several “treatments.”  The second new thing I’m trying is harvesting a few leaves from each plant at a time rather than a whole plant at one time.  This should give the plant a break from the stress of losing too many leaves at a time.

The sauce came together so easily in the crockpot.  I cleaned and chopped up some rhubarb, threw in some tart frozen cherries and 2 big Tablespoons of local, raw honey.  I put it on low for about 5 hours.  It developed into a chunky, sweet-tart sauce that was delicious over a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  I didn’t can it so I’m keeping it in the refrigerator until used up.  Wouldn’t it be good on pancakes?Yum!

One thing to remember about rhubarb:  the leaves are poisonous so you can see in my photo above that I cut off the leaves and lay them right down next to the plant.  This creates a weed barrier, a moisture retainer, and as they dry and break down they also become fertilizer.  The stems are what you want.  Just pull straight out from the plant to get the whole leaf, cut off the leaf, wash the stem, chop and use!

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