While many of you have been enjoying fresh rhubarb from your garden for weeks, here in northern Minnesota the rhubarb is finally ready to harvest.
Although I have a few favorite rhubarb recipes that I prepare each year at this time, I’m always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy the early-summer stalks of tartness.
A week ago I was spending time with friends in the Park Rapids area. We visited the studio of artist, Bickey Bender. In a cozy loft above a large garage, it’s a space that allows her imagination to take over as she creates with watercolor and paper art.
From her studio, she invited us into her home where she had a snack of rhubarb bread and fresh fruit waiting for us. The Rhubarb Nut Bread she had made for us was so moist and delicious. Bickey told me it is always the first rhubarb recipe she makes in the spring. She was willing to share the recipe.
I just had to share the photos I took of the fresh fruit. Look at the way she cut the watermelon. They looked like little pine trees. The little trunks on each wedge of watermelon made a perfect handle to easily pick the watermelon up with and eat it just like a popsicle. I thought it was great fun eating it that way. Wouldn’t children just love it? Leave it to the creative spirit of an artist to come up such a cute idea. And it really did make the fruit platters look like a work of art.
Great treats from Bicky, the baker and the artist.
RHUBARB NUT BREAD
Bickey Bender 2009
Temperature: 325 degrees
Time: 40-45 minutes
2 loaf pans
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
- 2/3 cup liquid shortening
- 1 egg
- 1 cup sour milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups diced, fresh rhubarb
- 1/2 cup nuts, chopped (optional)
Stir together in order given. Put into 2 greased loaf pans.
Sprinkle the following Topping over the loaves:
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 Tablespoon butter
Bake in 325-degree preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes.