rhubarbarian

IMG_1731Remember all that garden talk last week?  Mother Nature sure has been working overtime and now there are actual things that we can pull out of the ground and eat.  I’ve never actually prepared rhubarb before, so the burgeoning leaves signaled a challenge for me:  what to do with these strange, red shoots?

As usual, I took my inquiries over to Tastespotting.  If you haven’t used it, you should.  Just enter an ingredient or a recipe and gorgeous pictures and delicious recipes populate the screen.  A search for “rhubarb” didn’t disappoint.

rhubarb01wmFrom left to right, I made lemon-infused rhubarb syrup, started the clock on a batch of rhubarb liqueur (that ain’t water, it’s vodka!), and an orange zest rhubarb compote.

The syrup and compote recipes were derived from the instructions here, and the simple (yet totally in another language) directions for the liqueur can be found here (there’s a bit of English at the bottom).  As I am wont to do I totally screwed around with what actually went in to each one, because let’s face it:  recipes, assembly instructions, authority figures, et. al. are totally boring.

The syrup is going to make its way in to something yummy tonight, relaxing with the peepers and the fireflies on the back porch.

rhubarb05wmWhat’s your favorite rhubarb recipe?  Seriously, tell me!  Because there’s a monster in the backyard and it needs to be eaten!

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buddha of the mesclun mix

Threat of frost over.  Things are finally happening in the garden, with a little prodding from us, a spade, a hoe and a rake.  Here’s a little peek at all the activity happening lately:

blog07 I put a prosperity Buddha in with the mesclun mix seedlings.  No garden is complete without mysterious thingies in it.  Yesterday we found a little, blue marble that had probably been underground for 15 years or more.  JR thinks he could have lost it there when he was a kid.

blog06Prosperity working already.  These salad greens take 3-6 weeks to mature.  So far we put 30 in the ground!

blog02Muddy boots.  Requisite Maine gardening gear.

blog09These are the guard cats.  The photo is deceptive – they look like they are on the lookout but the gray one is actually sulking because the brown one just hit him in the face.

blog04Rhubarb already growing with some perennial seriousness.  A gift from the past gardener, so years of pie + jams to come.  Plus, these bright, yellow surprises that woke us up out of winter slumber a couple weeks ago:

blog03So good + yellow.  When they wither I’m going to make a summer flower garden on top of them with sunflowers, hard red wheat, coneflower, cosmos, marigolds and more.  But secretly I’m waiting for the daffodils to come again.

blog05Despite some nighttime visits from the deer over the snowy months, the blueberries we planted in September are doing fine and buds are already sprouting.  You can see a little nibbled bit to the left of the triple bud.  Evidence of ungulates!

blog01Spinach beginnings.  Can’t figure if these are going in the garden or will stay on the porch.  Nice to have some greens extra close to the kitchen.

And, in closing, I’m sorry, but in lieu of children I just have to:

blog12blog11~~~

What are you growing this year?  Do you have any planting traditions for good luck?