Rhubarb Weather?

With the recent rainy weather, I think it’s safe to assume that backyard rhubarb patches continue to yield fuchsia stalks. And that’s fortunate, because I forgot to pass along a couple of recipes submitted via my online blog from Phyllis Vander Linden. Since they were submitted as a comment, I’m not sure from where Phyllis hails, although a little sleuthing makes me think she might live in northwest Iowa.

Phyllis says her favorite rhubarb concoction is similar to the previously praised Quintessential Rhubarb Dessert.

“The main difference is you are not required to precook the rhubarb,” she noted.

Rhubarb Dessert Variation

Mix ¾ cup butter, 2 cups flour and 2 tablespoons sugar and pat into a 9- by 13-inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees.

Beat 6 egg yolks, 2 cups sugar, 4 tablespoons flour, 1 cup half and half or evaporated milk. Add 5 cups rhubarb.  Pour over crust and bake 45 minutes. Top with meringue: 6 egg whites, ¾ cup sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Bake at 350 degrees until golden.

Phyllis also shared her favorite rhubarb cake recipe.

Exemplary Rhubarb Cake

Cream ½ cup softened butter with 1½ cups brown sugar. Add 1 egg, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup sour milk. Fold in 1½ cups finely chopped rhubarb. Pour batter into a greased 9- by 13-inch pan.

Mix ½ cup white sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; sprinkle on top of batter. (Phyllis notes that nuts can be added to this topping, if desired.)

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

“It works great to substitute half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce,” Phyllis added. “The cake freezes well. Just cut into serving pieces and freeze and take out what you need when needed.”

From rhubarb stalks to recipe stalker. When longtime friend and Worthington High School classmate Amy Reker Lynch recently posted a photo of the cookies she’d just taken out of the oven on her Facebook page, I was among several people who insisted that she also share the recipe. She credits it to her late mother, Marge Reker, and I know from personal eating experience that Mrs. Reker was a fine cook.

“My mom made a book for each of us siblings with her recipes, and usually she put who she got recipes from, but this one has no name with it,” Amy said.

Banana Oaties Cookies

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Sift or stir together 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt and 1½ teaspoons cinnamon. Add 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal.

In another bowl, cream 1 cup shortening or butter (Amy uses butter), ½ cup white sugar, ¾ cup brown sugar, 2 eggs and 1½ teaspoons vanilla. Stop mixer and add ¾ cup mashed banana, then add the flour mixture gradually while beating on low. Add ¾ cup chopped nuts (optional). Beat again for 1½ minutes.

Drop mixture by teaspoon onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes or until browned.

Makes about 5 dozen cookies.