June 10, 2010 at 8:52 a.m.

Bring springtime sparkle to your table with this veggie

Bring springtime sparkle to your table with this veggie
Bring springtime sparkle to your table with this veggie

Crisp, colorful rhubarb brings springtime sparkle to your table in so many different ways. Rhubarb came early this year in most places because of our unseasonably warm weather, but mine didn't do well at all, because I don't have any rhubarb plants. Not to worry Alice. In our "park" there are several people who share this springtime veggie. Yes, it is a veggie, not a fruit. I had baked a rhubarb pie one morning and had but two pieces left when Jim, one of our neighbors, knocked on the door carrying a bucket full of leafless, beautiful red rhubarb. He got the pie and I got more rhubarb with no leaves to get rid of. We both made out well on that deal! And so, it's rhubarb recipes today, starting with...

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RHUBARB DREAM BARS

Crust:

2 c. flour

3/4 c. powdered sugar

1 c. butter or margarine

Filling:

4 eggs, slightly beaten

2 c. sugar

1/2 c. flour

1/2 t. salt

4 c. thinly sliced rhubarb (red in color is nice)

Mix crust ingredients together; press into a 15x10-inch pan (jelly roll pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes (crust will be very light-colored). Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine filling ingredients, except rhubarb, mixing well. Fold in rhubarb. Spread filling mixture on hot crust; return to oven and bake 40 to 45 minutes longer. Cool; cut into bars.

Makes 36 bars.

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RHUBARB MALLOW

COBBLER

4 c. diced fresh rhubarb

2-1/2 c. sugar, divided

1 c. mini marshmallows

1/2 c. butter, softened

1 t. vanilla

1-3/4 c. flour

1 T. baking powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 c. milk

In a large bowl, combine rhubarb and 1-1/2 c. sugar. Transfer to a 9x9-inch baking fish (perferably glass). Sprinkle with marshmallows. In a small mixing bowl, cream butter, vanilla and rest of sugar (1c.). Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir just until moistened; spoon over rhubarb. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 55 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm.

Makes 9 servings.

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EASY RHUBARB DESSERT

6 c. diced rhubarb

2 c. sugar

2 T. flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. baking powder

2/3 c. shortening, melted and cooled

1-1/2 c. quick oats

1-1/2 c. packed brown sugar

1-1/2 c. flour

Combine first 3 ingredients. Lightly press into a 9x13-inch pan (perferably glass). Combine rest of ingredients in a large mixing bowl, mixing well; sprinkle on top of rhubarb. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

If you wish, top with a dollop of whipped cream or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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This cake has a lot of sugar so make it and leave the sugar in the canister for the rest of the day, or have just a small piece.

RHUBARB PUDDING CAKE

1 c. sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

2 T. butter or margarine, melted

1 c. buttermilk or soured milk (Put 1 T. vinegar or lemon juice in a 1 c. measure. Add milk to make 1 C. Let sit 5 minutes if you don't have buttermilk

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. baking soda

1 t. baking powder

2 c. flour

1 c. diced fresh rhubarb

Topping:

2 t. butter or margarine, melted

1/2 c. sugar

Vanilla Sauce:

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 c. butter or margarine

1/2 c. evaporated milk

1 t. vanilla

Blend together sugar, egg, and butter. Beat in buttermilk until smooth. Stir together salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour together. Stir dry ingredients into buttermilk mixture; mix well. Stir in rhubarb. Pour into greased 9x9-inch square baking pan (perferably glass). Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle on top of batter. Bake 350 for 45 minutes or until cake tests done. For sauce: Combine sugar, margarine and milk in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Serve warm (not hot) sauce over cake.

Makes 9 to 12 servings.

TFD: A little thought for the graduates, or for anyone: Perhaps you can't be a star but you need not be a cloud. Congratulations graduates! May you succeed in all the dreams you have for the future. Be on the straight and narrow, be proud of who you are, work hard and be grateful for each new day. Alice

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