Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rhubarb Strawberry Coffee Cake

Bebop-a-Rebop Rhubarb Pie is one of my favorite Garrison Keillor clips, so check out the link if you aren't familiar with it...or if you just want to hear it again. I believe that he was the person who commented that every town in Minnesota thinks they are the only one that knows about rhubarb! As a former traveling nurse in the state of Minnesota, I think this does have a grain of truth. Nearly every town had a blood drive chairperson who would whisper to the charge nurse in the spring, "for dessert we have rhubarb".

Although I liked rhubarb through my youth and often would snack on a stalk while out playing, I did burn out on it through my travels. Although I never disliked it, I was really tired of it by the time I wasn't traveling. Now, 15 years later, I am finding that I like it again. I probably won't snack on a stalk while out playing anymore, but I don't mind a bit of it either. I do like it best when combined with strawberries, and there are a number of recipes with both.

My parents have rhubarb from the plant that was at my grandparent's house and are passing part of that plant to me now that I finally feel like I can enjoy it again. Of course I think this is the rhubarb that tastes best of all.

I have been thinking about rhubarb quite a bit lately since my parents traveled to Lanesboro, Minnesota (yep, another bloodmobile stop) for the rhubarb festival. I'm not sure where they read about this festival, but they did decide to take a quick trip to see this celebration of rhubarb.

The rhubarb festival includes games of skill with rhubarb (balancing an egg on a stalk and racing to the finish, rhubarb stalk throw, rhubarb golf, and rhubarb golf), snacks with rhubarb, and odes to this vegetable. There is even a national anthem to rhubarb and a singing group called the Rhubarb Sisters.

I made this coffee cake on Father's Day after returning from a run. I cut the butter by 1/4 c...big deal since it calls for 2 sticks! Hey, why not cut a tiny bit of the fat? There were a few groans here since no one thought they would like it. ended up getting rave reviews from all.

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