The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By Mary Honrud
For the Courier 

Maintenance

 

Mary Honrud / For the Courier

The not-so-pretty but delicious rhubarb bread.

We're far enough into the gardening season that only maintenance is needed. Most of that maintenance is boring: mowing, weeding, and watering. The rain helps a lot, but then it is followed by too much wind, which takes the moisture right back out of everything. (It also brings in another maintenance chore: picking up the downed twigs, destroyed bird nests, and tree limbs torn off the trees that litter the mowing surfaces).

And now the heat is here. I know it's needed, but it also restricts my maintenance hours to early in the mornings (weeding), or late in the evening (mowing). Watering happens at all hours: I run the drip system on the garden overnight, and the sprinkler during the day. Watering flowerpots is also done in the cool of the evening. By then I'm ready to stand around in the shade with the water nozzle, soaking the plants and admiring their beauty.

I've still been harvesting asparagus, but now that it's getting hot, that will end. I'll let the spears grow into the fern-like plants asparagus wants to be. Later they'll form round, red seed pods. Somehow I never notice their flowers. I've been potting up lots of those baby plants that resulted from last summer's seed pods to give away. I use the empty pots from my greenhouse-purchased plants. I've transplanted plenty of them into their own dedicated garden row.

I also spent a day digging out raspberry starters. They grow by rhizomes, and would love to take over the garden. I bagged up a lot of the newly formed canes, in case anyone wants to add to their garden. Some of them have enough root attached to grow. And I transplanted several into the blank spots left from the trapped blind dogs' frantic efforts to escape late last summer.

The rhubarb is still gifting me with lots of tender new growth. I've made my crusty rhubarb dessert several times. I've been thoroughly enjoying that sugar-laden delight while I'm in between Whole Life Challenge sessions. The Polish rhubarb drink is WLC acceptable as it uses honey. One of my golf friends shared a rhubarb bread recipe via FB, and attested to its deliciousness (I provided her with the rhubarb she used. Her brother has confirmed it's edibility.) So I made a loaf, and it turned out lovely. (The keto version I made, thinking ahead to the next WLC session, fell apart when taking it out of the loaf pan. I guess I should have left it in the pan longer. It looks terrible but tastes better than fine. I'm not sharing that recipe until I've tweaked it.)

Rhubarb Bread

1-1/2 C brown sugar

1 egg

2/3 C oil

1 C sour milk (1 Tbl lemon juice & enough milk to make 1C)

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

2-1/2 C flour

1/4 tsp cream of tartar

1-1/2 C diced rhubarb

Oven at 325 degrees. Grease a loaf pan. Beat together the first three ingredients, set aside. Mix together the milk, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, then add to the egg mixture. Beat in the flour and cream of tartar, beating well. Beat in the rhubarb. Pour into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Run a knife down edges of pan immediately, then remove from pan onto a cooling rack.

Since maintenance work is generally boring, another recipe is in the offing. This one meets the WLC requirements for the rapidly approaching (starts next Friday) session.

Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa

2/3 C beer OR water

4 garlic cloves

2 chipotles in adobo sauce

1 small white onion, chopped

1 (4oz) can green chilies

1/4 C fresh lime juice

2 Tbl cider vinegar

1 Tbl cumin

1 Tbl oregano

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 Tbl EVOO

3# chuck roast, cut in 2" chunks

3 bay leaves

Combine the first 12 ingredients in a food processor or blender. Purée and set aside. Heat the instant pot on sauté. Add oil. Once that's shimmering, sear the meat on all sides (30-45 seconds each side). Turn off pot, add sauce, stirring to coat the meat. Lay leaves on top. Seal and use meat setting on high for 1 hour. Carefully vent steam. Discard leaves. Shred meat with 2 forks. Serve like tacos, in shells, using desired toppings.

You can make this in a crock pot instead, it will just take hours longer. I used both chuck steaks and a large chicken breast in place of the roast. The meat was cut into 1-2" chunks. Not being beer drinkers, I used water. In place of the chipotles in adobo sauce, I used about a teaspoon of ground chipotle powder. It was a little runny for in a taco shell, so I ate mine with a fork off a plate, rolling up the taco shell and using it like you'd use bread to sop up stew. (You could thicken the sauce with a corn starch slurry. For the WLC I'd use arrowroot powder. And I'd use corn taco shells instead of the flour ones.)

I topped mine with chopped green onions, chopped tomato and avocado mixed with a little lime juice to prevent browning, and shredded baby spinach. Dennis used the onion and sliced black olives. Next time I'll use plain Greek yogurt as a sour cream substitute. No cheese or taco sauce should be used. This isn't as spicy as it might sound. I might try it using pork next time.

 

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