One of my favorite perennials is rhubarb, and mine is coming up. If you don’t already know about rhubarb, check out this great site, The Rhubarb Compendium. This is the one vegetable I truly missed while I was living in the South. Rhubarb is easy to grow and hardy, but it needs cold weather to thrive, so it isn’t grown in the South.
The leaves are poisonous, so the only edible part is the red stalk which has a tartness that is amazing. When combined with something sweet, like strawberries, or jello, it becomes that sweet-tart taste so many people love. The stalk is pulled or cut where it comes out of the soil and the leaves are removed and composted.
When rhubarb pops up in the spring, soon after the leaves are open, a stalk with a very stinky flower may shoot out of the center and reach for the sky. Chop that off as soon as you notice it. If you’re rhubarb is allowed to procreate it will get lazy and not produce well.
Rhubarb pie is the popular recipe most people have heard of, but what I always really loved was rhubarb jello. To use rhubarb in recipes, it is often boiled until it becomes soft and slimy then added to something sweet to create that sweet-n-tart that so many people love. Rhubarb can also be chopped and baked it until it becomes soft.
Pick your favorite type of jello mix or favorite jello recipe. Find out how much hot/boiling water you need to make the jello, and boil your rhubarb in the water until it is soft. If you need more water to boil your rhubarb than the recipe calls for you can boil it down until you have the correct amount. If there is not enough liquid once you’ve finished boiling the rhubarb, you can add boiling water. Follow the rest of the jello recipe as directed.
In the future I would like to try to make vegan jello, but for now I simply buy the unflavored kind of gelatin and flavor it with fruit juice, natural flavors and natural sugars.