Friday, October 5, 2007

A Few Words About Rhubarb

It is safe to assert that no plant grows which is more universally sought for in its season than rhubarb, or pie-plant as some like to call it. Its properties are highly medicinal; the acid being of that kind which the system needs and craves just as soon as Spring opens. This craving takes possession of us at that season, with the regularity and persistence of the bluebird's note at that time, and it remains with us as long as there is a salable stalk in the market. It is almost the first garden product to which the gardener gives his undivided attention, as it is almost the first which lifts its hardy head to woo the sunshine.

A rhubarb plant is a very handy thing to have in a garden, as once it is well started, it will yield an abundant supply at an expenditure of very little care. The soil should be rich to begin with, and each year the root should be dug around, and kept well watered.

When purchasing rhubarb at the market always seek those stalks which have a red tinge at the roots; they are as much superior to the small, greenish ones as a rosy cheeked apple is to an unripe one.

In preparing rhubarb for use, the skin should not be removed, as many suppose, for in this is the best flavor of the plant. Cut the stalks into inch pieces with a sharp knife, and pour boiling water over them. This extracts much of the extreme acid, and consequently calls for less sugar.

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