Monday, May 21, 2012


Once again it is time to harvest rhubarb and I have quite a bit to use!  Yesterday my niece came over and we baked Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake.  The recipe is from The Joy of Rhubarb by Theresa Millang.  I'm not going to recommend the book as I've made a number of its recipes and have found that most of them require modifications.  That is true for this recipe as well.  I found the cake to be too sweet.  Thus, if you decide to make the cake, you will want to reduce the sugar.  That said, here it is one day after we baked the cake and it was gone by 8: a.m. this morning!

Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake.  Serves 8.
2/3 cup boiling water
1/2 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups fresh rhubarb, diced
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup corn oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup all-purpose flour mixed in a bowl with:
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350ยบ.  Pour boiling water over oatmeal in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes.
Stir melted butter and granulated sugar in an 8-inch square baking pan.  Sprinkle with rhubarb.
In a large bowl, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn oil, vanilla and egg.  Add oat mixture; beat well.  Add flour mixture; beat just to combine.  Carefully pour mixture over rhubarb.  Bake about 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.  Run a knife along sides of pan to loosen cake.  Carefully invert cake onto a cake plate.
Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


Three weekends out of town, a death in the family, and the rush of Spring chores - that's my excuse for not posting since Easter.  The flowers in my garden were out a full three weeks early this year.  On April 24 I opened my garden to my garden club members with all of the Spring bulbs in full bloom, along with bleeding heart, pasque flower, Virginia bluebells, and the list goes on.  Except for the bleeding heart which is still in bloom, a full array of new flowers are now out.  Enjoy this little sampling of my May 17, 2012 garden.   To get a better look, click on the picture.  If you're wondering about a specific plant, just ask!

 Bleeding heart and anemonie.
Rue and trillium.
Toad house, Japanese painted fern, hosta and heuchera.
 Snow in the summer.
Hardy geranium and heuchera.
Columbine, monarda and spirea shrub.
Hardy geranium, catmint and spirea shrub in back.
Bearded iris.
Wire sculpture of a woman holding a bouquet of flowers.
 Chinese scene.
 A fairy and deer.
 White clematis and allium.
 Bridal wreath spirea.
 Dianthus and ground cover sedum.
 Variegated iris.
 The first peony of the season.