Reggie says…

“I got your back.”

Thought this one of Sadie was cute, too.

Rhubarb muffins

I bought an obscene amount of rhubarb at the farmers market this weekend, so I wanted to start using it right away.

I tried to buy bunches that were especially red, and these were just beautiful (from a local berry farm). Last weekend I couldn’t find rhubarb at the store, but I think it was a blessing in disguise. It’s much cheaper and better quality at the market.

First up, muffins. I have written about these before, but didn’t provide the recipe, so here it is.

Mike and I were so happy with how these turned out. They are muffin perfection, if I do say so myself. Even though rhubarb is a little tart, I think I prefer it to berries in a muffin just because it doesn’t overpower the rest of the taste. And with a little crunchy cinnamon-sugar on top, you feel like you’re getting a bit of a treat (though they’re made with some whole wheat flour, too).

Rhubarb muffins
adapted from Simply in Season, my fave

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, diced
1/2 cups chopped nuts (your choice, I used pecans)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon flour

Maybe I have said this before, but I find it funny that baking powder has a shaker option on the lid. What do you shake baking powder on? Is it a cleaner, too?

Also, I had never tried the trick of using a slice of bread to bring back your brown sugar from a hardened state, but it totally works!

Aaaand, I should mention that I didn’t have any buttermilk, so I added a squirt of lemon juice to a cup of 1% milk that we had in the fridge and it seemed to work just fine.

OK, back to the recipe.

Combine the flours, baking powder, soda and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, egg and vanilla. Dump in the dry ingredients and stir just enough to combine. Then add the chopped rhubarb and nuts and stir those up.

Divide the batter evenly into your muffin pan. It will make 12 pretty huge muffins, or maybe 18 medium-sized ones.

Melt the butter in a little dish in the microwave, then stir in the cinnamon, sugar and flour. Sprinkle that over the tops of the muffins.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

I still have this much rhubarb leftover.

Mike is thinking about making his famous rhubarb lemonade…

Side garden – done!

I had to dig up some of my mulch work to finish the side garden, but it was worth the effort to cross that off my checklist.

When I walked over there yesterday I noticed that not only is the big rose bush in full bloom (this is what they look like),

but another rose bush over there has lots of buds on it. I don’t think one has ever bloomed since we’ve lived here, so I’m excited to see what it looks like.

I did end up moving some of the little pink and white flowers to fill in one of the holes, so now they form a straight line across the front of the garden.

In back I added a shasta daisy and a purple coneflower plant.

I LOVE daisies of all kinds, and I think they will look great once that other plant blooms with yellow-orange flowers.

I chose prairie-type flowers because I love them, and they are perennials that will keep coming back!

At the farmers market I bought an oregano plant and a cilantro plant to round out my herb pot garden. It’s still looking great on the front porch.

Both of our Amish paste tomato plants died in the back yard. We think perhaps they were not as able to survive cold temps as the other ones that we planted at the same time. We got some San Marzano plants to replace them, so we’ll see how those do. I suspect they like it warm, so they should be happy with our high 80s temps this week.

Happy gardening!