Rhubarb, The Vegetable That Keeps on Growing

Rhubarb, The Vegetable That Keeps on Growing

Rhubarb

Love it.  Hate it.  Weird rhubarb was a mainstay of the early settlers of the badlands and grasslands of North Dakota.  It still is!  Whether it was brought from Scandinavian countries, or Germany, or Ukraine, or Russia, no one really knows.   But almost every farmyard had it.   Rhubarb!  

(Check out the highlighted links in this blog…you’ll discover great information about rhubarb and western places!)

That's A Lot Of Rhubarb!

That’s A Lot Of Rhubarb!

It Saved the County!

An entire chapter in one of the best recipe books/history books about the settlement of western North Dakota, Prairie Cooks by Carrie Young with Felicia Young, is devoted to growing and cooking with rhubarb (available at the Western Edge Bookstore in Medora and at the Dunn County Museum in Dunn Center, North Dakota.) It’s titled “Entire County Saved By Rhubarb” and tells tales of a huge rhubarb patch in Williams County, North Dakota.  Included are humorous anecdotes as well as several tried and true recipes.   

Prairie Cooks Cookbook, by Carrie Young with Felicia Young

Prairie Cooks Cookbook, by Carrie Young with Felicia Young

Rhubarb Jam, Prairie Cooks

Rhubarb Jam, Prairie Cooks

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake, Prairie Cooks

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake, Prairie Cooks

Everything Rhubarb

When rhubarb suddenly pops from the ground in North Dakota, it’s spring!  And rhubarb recipes seem to materialize out of no where.  From recipe books, family recipe files, magazines, newspapers, television and radio shows.  In fact, there are community celebrations which honor the vegetable, which many consider a fruit!   Small town Aneta, North Dakota rocks with rhubarb!

Rhubarb Bread Fresh from the Oven

Rhubarb Bread Fresh from the Oven

Rhubarb Dream Dessert, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Dream Dessert, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Crunch, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Crunch, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Juneberry or Rhubarb Pudding, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Juneberry or Rhubarb Pudding, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Deanna's Rhubarb Crisp, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Deanna’s Rhubarb Crisp, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Grandma's Rhubarb Bars, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Grandma’s Rhubarb Bars, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Double Crust Pie

Rhubarb Double Crust Pie

 

Pie Plant

A nickname given to rhubarb by early settlers as Pie Plant.  Pie was the rhubarb delicacy most appreciated by the majority of folks. 

Rhubarb Cream Pie, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Cream Pie, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Custard Pie, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Custard Pie, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Custard Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Rhubarb Custard Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Rhubarb Cream Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Rhubarb Cream Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Golden Rhubarb Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Golden Rhubarb Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Julia Leiseth's Rhubarb Cream Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Julia Leiseth’s Rhubarb Cream Pie, A Taste of History Cookbook

Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie, Prairie Cooks

Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie, Prairie Cooks

Rhubarb Bread and a Cup of Coffee

Rhubarb Bread and a Cup of Coffee

 

Desserts, Breads, and Cakes, Too!

Rhubarb Sauce was a mainstay of most kitchens, most likely ‘canned’ in quart jars and stored (for years?!) in cellars and pantries for future use.   Anything sugar combines well with rhubarb, to counter it’s bitter taste.  Even dipping stalks of raw rhubarb in sugar and eating as a snack was a special spring and summer thing to do.   Rhubarb dessert recipes, all with ample amounts of sugar, are easily found in most area cookbooks.

Rhubarb Dessert, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Fresh Rhubarb Cake, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Fresh Rhubarb Cake, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Bread, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Bread, Cowboy Hall of Fame Cookbook

Rhubarb Cake, A Taste of Medora Recipe Collection

Rhubarb Cake, A Taste of Medora Recipe Collection

Rhubarb Dream Bars, A Taste of History Cookbook

Rhubarb Dream Bars, A Taste of History Cookbook

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Cake,Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Cake,Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Rhubarb Dessert, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Heavenly Rhubarb, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Heavenly Rhubarb, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Yummy Rhubarb Bars, Women's Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Yummy Rhubarb Bars, Women’s Missionary Fellowship Cookbook

Slice of Rhubarb Bread

Slice of Rhubarb Bread

It Won’t Stop Growing!

Once established, not much hinders the growth of rhubarb!  A perfect plant for harsh, northern climates, rhubarb grows best in areas where the soil freezes in the winter. In fact, there needs to be an extended period of soil temperatures 40F degrees or colder in order to produce stalks.

Red Rhubarb Ready to Slice

Red Rhubarb Ready to Slice

Toxic?

Important to know is that the leaves of the rhubarb plant are toxic and should not be eaten due to their high concentration of oxalic acid. After spring emergence if there is a freeze, none of the plant which has emerged should be consumed as oxylic acid may have moved into the stem.  Consumption could cause permanent damage to human body organs. 

Got Rhubarb Recipes, or Memories?   

If you have favorite or sentimental rhubarb recipes, we’d love to share them!  Contact us via email, or comment/message us on our Facebook page, Beautiful Badlands ND.   We’d love to hear from you!  

Love to eat?  Here’s a badlands eatery you’re gonna like!  So do the cowboys!  This 1880’s Establishment Is Still Great in Medora!

And don’t miss this western restaurant.  It’s been around for years.   Cowboys Like This Place, Too.  You’ll Love It in Killdeer!

Want to do some exploring?  Walk across the Yellowstone River on an antique iron monstrosity? Not afraid of the dark?  Read this:  This Tunnel is Long and Dark!   (bring a flashlight!)

Join us on Facebook at Beautiful Badlands ND.  

See more of the beautiful grasslands and badlands of western North Dakota and eastern Montana here:  It’s Beautiful Out There!

Beauty from the Heart of the Badlands. A photo exhibition from the heart.

Beauty from the Heart of the Badlands. A photo exhibition from the heart in Watford City, North Dakota.

 

 

 

 

 

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