Rhubarb Kuchen with Meringue
Rhabarberkuchen mit Baiser
Rhubarb Spritzer and Rhubarb water
Rhubarb compote with
Lentil Soup with Rhubarb
Linsensuppe mit Rhabarber
One of the signs of Spring is the shooting up of the Rhubarb stalks. My grandmother's were at the far side in her back yard near the fence. . I remember those HUGE leaves like it was something from the movie 100 million years BC in 1966 that I remember seeing with the dinosaurs as a boy.
My sister Emily and I in Grandma's back yard, Rhubarb patch was n back of me by the fence
Rhubarb would be my grandma as she loved sweet and tart things. Back hen I prefered one of her Berliners of course but now I would trade most things for a piece of Rhubarb Kuchen. It has a profound flavor.
Rhubarb season is from April to September. We should be able to enjoy it all summer.
My friend Karen Kinnane sends me pictures of her Rhubarb every year. Her's is very special because it from her grandpa and grandpa Sauerlander, that got the plants in 1890. The roots are divided and you can share them with other folks. It is amazing to me that they would last that long.
This is a very hardy strain of Rhubarb and she harvests it from May to through the first frost.
Her German Grandmother Emily, one time owners of the plants, used to say,
"Rhubarb is a spring tonic, you eat it to have something fresh after a winter of canned food, sauerkraut and potatoes."
She would say the same thing about dandelion greens, these being the first two edible fresh foods from the garden every year.
Karen splits a few of the plants every year, by shoving a spade in really deep near the center and removing half the roots, and leaving the other half undisturbed so it is still possible to cut from that remaining plant. If you dig up the whole root and divide it and then replant, you can't harvest from any of it for that year, and little the next, so my system is better. It takes one growing season for the new plants to settle in and take hold. The first year you plant rhubarb, you do not harvest.
Rhubarb from grandpa Sauerlander brings up a fun story about fruit from the Saarland, a little state in Southwestern Germany.
Prince Wilhelm Heinrich of Saarland wanted to promote fruit growing in the area during the 1700's in Germany,
Before there were media to give perhaps a public service plea, or tax advantages, or a contest they relied on old fashioned punishment.
Prince Wilhelm Heinrich
Prince Wilhelm gave an edict that every family must plant at least 2 fruit trees. In a 100 years there was no need for the rule because there were fruit trees and orchards everywhere. They are famous for their orchards now.
In the Merzig area of Saarland to this day they are famous for their apples and other fruits.
"Rha of the Barbarians"....
Word experts agree the word Rhubarb or in Germany Rhabarber is from this reference. In Europe the first notice of Rhubarb was around the time of Christ. The uses were mostly medicinal. The Latin scribes at the time often refered to the crimson stalks as Rha from the Barbarians. Rha was the ancient name for the Volga River, and Barbarian refered to a foreigner in this case probably the Tartars, that knew about the healing qualities of rhubarb from their travels in China, and grew it next to where they lived on what is now the Volga river.
Until the 1600's Rhubarb was only grown in Germany for medicinal purposes. The first test by botanists to eat the leaves was a deadly decision. The leaves contain oxalic acid which is very poisonous.
Becky Stockton sent me a recipe for a sour cream rhubarb cake that I loved and was looking around
at a lot of Rhabarberkuchens (Rhubarb Kuchens) on German websites. I was a little stunned by how many
Rhubarb Kuchens I saw that topped it with meringue. Just a small layer not like some of the lemon meringue
pies that have a billowy cloud covering up the filling. I thought this would be light and a great finish for the cake.
This is a follow up to "Recipes from a German Grandma' a full biography of Emma Block from growing up in Germany to coming over here as a young adult and living as a German-American in the early and mid 1900's.
This is a delicious and refreshing dessert.
The Quarkschaum topping is a wonderful blend of custard,
Quark (may use puree of cottage cheese) and meringue.
Germans love their Quark. It is like a thicker and milder sour cream more information on Quark
Using Fresh Vanilla in Baking
I used a lot of vanilla beans (pods) in the newsletter recipes this week. If you have never
cooked with them maybe now is a good time to give them a try. It is fun to experience
just the smell of real vanilla beans. There are reasons why they are so potent and relatively expensive.
If you buy single ones in the store they are a ridiculous stupid price and usually pretty dry.
There are 3 different products that are all wonderful to use, that you will get a good feel for
vanilla. One is of course the fresh vanilla bean. I say fresh but it is really dried like a raisin is dried,
and so it last indefinitely as long as you keep the air off of it and in the a cool place away from the sunlight.
If you have never made your own vanilla extract, and you like to DIY then this is a must. It is never fail, and takes just a few minutes to set up. Home brewed vanilla extract makes a wonderful gift as well.
2 pounds rhubarb, washed and cut into chunks
3/4 cup sugar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Put the rhubarb in a bowl, pour over 4 cups boiling water, cover, and leave at room temperature overnight. Next day, strain the liquid into a saucepan, discarding the rhubarb. Add the sugar and lemon juice, and bring to a boil 5 minutes. Cool. Taste, and add more lemon juice if necessary. Strain into a bottle, and cork. Store refrigerated, to be served ice-cold.
Add sparkling water or Sparkling wine even to make a Rhubarb Spritzer
This is a lovely soup that gains a nice sweet and tart flavor with the rhubarb.
Yes Lentil soup is perfect without rhubarb but Many have a bumper crop and are looking for new recipes.
This puts a new twist on an old ....really old biblical favorite!
For the first time EVER we have authentic German Bratwurst actually made in Nürnberg and imported fresh from Germany. Produced under the highest quality standards and USDA approved. These sausages are made from a traditional 1313 recipe (which would make it a 698 year old recipe). It doesn't get any better than this. It's so delicious you won't need to add mustard. This Nürnberger Bratwurst is fully cooked just heat and serve. Can be pan fried or grilled. Each package contains eight (8) small Bratwurst similar in size to American breakfast sausages. Each sausage measures approx. 3.5" in length.
Storage: Refrigeration recommended but can be frozen too.
How was the size of the Nuremberg Sausage created?
According to legend, Hans IV. Stromer (1517-1592), a judge in the medieval times, was imprisoned for life for revealing an important political secret. In those days, life-term in prison meant that once the dungeon doors were shut, you never again left your cell. Prisoners depended on family members for their food. Since he was a high ranking prisoner, Stromer was granted one reasonable wish. That wish was to be allowed 2 Bratwursts daily until the end of his days. So, his family made a Bratwurst so small that it could be passed through the keyhole of the prison door. In deference to the legend, all "Nürnberger Bratwurst" now made in Germany are required, by German law, to include certain ingredients in specific proportions. The law specifies that the sausages must be a certain length and diameter, and must be produced within the city limits of Nürnberg.