Joan Craig recently wrote in with a request for rhubarb relish that can be served with pork or chicken. Many readers responded, including Renee Lavitt, Diane Squair of Brandon, Shelley Buskell, Jean Feliksiak, Elsie Reid of The Pas, Heida Bottrell and Selkirk's Beverley Bell. Several readers sent in their mothers' tried-and-true recipes, some of which traced back to the 1930s. Jean Feliksiak remembers growing up in Alberta, where rhubarb grew like a weed and thrifty householders preserved everything they could. I've also included a small-batch rhubarb sauce from Heida Bottrell, which can be used with sweet or savoury dishes.
And with a bumper berry crop this year, I'd love a good recipe for homemade angel food cake. If you can help with a recipe request, have your own request, or a favourite recipe you'd like to share, send an email to email@example.com, fax it to 697-7412, or write to Recipe Swap, c/o Alison Gillmor, Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave. Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6. Please include your first and last name, address and telephone number.
1 L (4 cups) chopped rhubarb
1 L (4 cups) chopped onion
500 ml (2 cups) cider vinegar
1 L (4 cups) brown sugar, lightly packed
10 ml (2 tsp) table salt
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cloves
5 ml (1 tsp) ground ginger
5 ml (1 tsp) allspice (optional)
1 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne (optional)
In large non-reactive pot, stir together all ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring often, until mixture reaches desired thickness, about 60-90 minutes. Pour mixture into hot sterilized jars and seal immediately. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. (Inexperienced canners should consult a canning cookbook or website such as www.bernardin.ca for detailed instructions on safe canning techniques.) Or store in fridge in an airtight container and use within a week. Makes about 7x250 ml (8 oz) jars.
Tester's notes: This zippy relish combines sweet, tart and spicy flavours. I used red onion, mostly for the rich colour.
500 ml (2 cups) sliced rhubarb
75 ml (1/3 cups) brown sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) cider vinegar
3 ml (3/4 tsp) grated fresh ginger root
In small non-reactive saucepan over medium heat, cook all ingredients, stirring often, until rhubarb is soft, about 15 minutes. Serve with pork. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tester's notes: This fresh-tasting sauce really highlights the flavour of the rhubarb and would make a good accompaniment with pork or chicken. Since it uses just a dash of vinegar, it would also work well with a slice of grilled pound cake or stirred into yogurt at breakfast.
You can cook the sauce to your personal preference, either until the rhubarb is just soft or until it breaks down completely.