Using the Unloved

Rhubarb. Prolific. It grows where people don’t want it to grow. It bursts forth ready to take in that sweet sunlight with its erect petioles terminating in huge leaves. Such an eager plant to be so heartily distained by so many.


A couple of months ago, I noticed rhubarb growing in our weedy little garden and thought, “What can I do with this? It’s food, so I should eat it.” I remembered a recipe a friend had given me many, many moons ago. Too many. It’s time to make rhubarb cake!


This recipe turned out so well! The rhubarb cake was light and fluffy, and highlighted the rhubarb’s flavor without being overly sweet.



A week later, my friend’s birthday was coming up. What better to do than make her a rhubarb dish? Nothing. So I hacked some spears down and set out to try another recipe: Rhubarb Custard Bars. These were fantastic. The custard was delicious; the cream cheese frosting was incredible. Needless to say, my friend was super stoked to get them for her birthday.


Recipe #3! Rhubarb Lemon Muffins. Many recipes combine rhubarb and lemon. I can taste why. Muffins emit such a lovely aroma and these were a big hit at my house. I tweaked the recipe and added a little bit more buttermilk and a few fresh raspberries. Again, my favorite thing was that this recipe was not overly sweet.


Recipe #4! All the recipes were a great time for a super adulty adult, such as myself, who had not done a lot of cooking in her life. But this one was especially fun: Lemon Rhubarb Syrup. So simple and so tasty.

As I was making the syrup, I decided to tweak the recipe a bit. Slowly, I stirred two cups of regular sugar into the hot syrup. I tasted it and it was already very sweet. The unsure cook that I am, I ran downstairs and asked my partner what I should do. Do I add the third cup? Will the lemon juice at the end add that much sour flavor? Following my partner’s suggestion, I then added 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1 Tbsp of molasses. Much success.

Cooking brings me such joy. The internet has been my favorite friend when it comes to trying new recipes. So embrace those crazy plants growing in your yard and try out some new recipes!


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