Rhubarb is a vegtable

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun . . . and no I am not aking this up. Rhubarb is a vegetable. It is also a good source of calcium, Potassium and vitamin C. I grow Rhubarb and have put it in pies, jam, jelly, rhubarb cake, rhubarb sauce and rhubarb crisp. Each of those recipes need a lot of sugar.

Rhubarb can also be used to make salsa. I have found a few recipes. It makes sense because if you add enough pepper it probably tastes like pepper. I might also try roasted rhubarb and rhubarb butter which isn’t butter at all but is made with rhubarb, honey and orange juice and can be used as a sauce for pork or chicken. I may try it as a barbecue sauce or marinate or glaze the next time I grill chicken.

The best way to find new, exciting, nutritious or tasty recipes that include rhubarb is by asking Google.

Eventually I will have to make rhubarb pie or cake because I can.

Growing rhubarb is easy and it is fun and can be one of the many joys of homeownership. Even on my inner city postage stamp sized lot I am able to grow a nice rhubarb crop.



biking through the woods

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. My bike, the woods, and my camera are three of my favorite things. Last Sunday I got to take a bike ride through Lilydale Regional Park which is where the birds and flowers live.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-winged blackbird

I also saw a great blue heron and a couple variety of finch and some bald eagles. I also saw some turtles, geese, ducks and one fat turkey.

I have been interested in bird photography for some time but have a hard time fitting it in.  Houses are easier to photograph because they don’t move around.

Bird photography is particularly challenging on Sunday afternoons because of all the bike and car traffic. Bikes don’t make much noise but I often hear the riders by the time they are within a quarter mile of where I am bird watching.

I do enjoy the river and the parkland along it. Biking or walking are the best ways to take it all in.

Have a great weekend. Don’t scare the birds away.

Dandelions are edible

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Everything greened up nicely this week and the dandelions are in full bloom.

You might say they grow like weeds. The name came from a French word for lions teeth.

The leaves of the dandelion have jagged edges that look like lions teeth if you are a French person. I am half French and can speak from experience.

My mom, who is 100% French told me that her family often ate dandelion greens in the spring.

I have eaten them myself. They are full of nutrients and they are good in salads. The younger they are the better they taste. Dandelion tends to get bitter as it ages.

I recently found a recipe for dandelion bud pickles. It is almost too late in the season to find buds where I live but a person would I am sure there are plenty outside of the downtown area. Picking the buds will reduce next years crop as will harvesting the roots and roasting them.

Here is the recipe to be made in a 16 o.z. jar:

1/3 cup sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
apple cider, brown rice or white wine vinegar
tamari or soy sauce

All you really need to know is to clean the buds, you know pick off the leaves and was everything. (the bud should be closed)  Put the buds in the jar with the onion and other seasonings and fill the jar 1/3 with the tamari or soy sauce and then fill it to the top with the vinegar. I have seen recipes that include ginger root, bay leaves, and honey.

If pickles are not something you normally make and you don’t want to experiment use google to find a recipe that makes sense to you.

If you are irritated with your neighbor because of all of those dandelion seeds that float onto your property ask if you can pick the buds and pickle them. It isn’t likely that any of our neighbors will stop being obnoxious so we may as well make the most of it.

Spring came on Tuesday

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. We had a long winter and a late spring, which arrived on Tuesday and it was/is a joy to behold. Flowers and leaves started to open and people could be seen outside.

It is hard to imagine that all of those people were here all winter but they were, they just stayed inside.

We will see more spring weather this weekend. I predict that the weather will be perfect for taking a walk, a bike ride, working in the yard or for buying real estate and that the flowering crabs will flower.

spring collage
Spring collage
Bloodroot – blooming in the woods

Hold off on that garden

garden thermometer
Soil Thermometer

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. It is almost time to garden in St. Paul. Right now a person could plant some onions or some spinach. It is such an exciting time of year I just had to write about it.

On the rocky river bluff where I live, near downtown, the soil warms up quickly. When I checked yesterday it was already at 40 degrees.

It might not be warm enough for tomato plants but it is warm enough for a pot of pansies and they seem to be blooming in grocery stores, hardware stores and nurseries everywhere. I even found some outside the River Centre in downtown St. Paul.

Enjoy the spring weather this weekend and plan your garden and buy real estate.

flower pots
Flower pots at River Centre.

Green bikes and snow

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Last Friday I mentioned that the Nice Ride bikes had not made their April debut. They must have been put out shortly before last weekends epic snow storm. It will be awhile yet before anyone can take one out for a spin.

Nice Ride and Grand and West 7th street

Spring is on the way and we should see some spring-like weather this weekend. The snow may be gone by early next week. Enjoy it while you can.