Last summer, Dad and I transplanted a 50 year old perennial garden. No easy task let me tell you! Luckily, we have a tractor which made the first part of the job possible.
There were peonies, irises, Homestead lilies, Solomon’s seal, roses and a snowball shrub all over grown and intertwined. Dad dug them out of the ground with the help of a backhoe and then deposited them in large, weed infested clumps, beside the old hen house. Next, we had to remove the sod surrounding the hen house and turn over the soil. This was all done with the help of the tractor. Then came the hard part. I had to divide every plant either by hand or by saw. It took three weeks of nine hour days to separate, de-weed and replant.
This is kind of a long intro to actually get to my point… There was a beautiful well-established clump of rhubarb behind the hen house. During the plant transfer and sod removable, big gangly messes of roots were accidently pulled out of the ground. The roots belonged to the rhubarb. I was heart sick! I was sure that I had killed the rhubarb patch that had stood a very long test of time. That is until I came along! Dad had told me not to worry. He said it is practically impossible to kill rhubarb and he was right. When I tentatively peeked around the back of , what was the hen house and is now my potting shed, there in full display was the beautiful patch of rhubarb.
I love rhubarb in anything…stewed, pie, jam, chutney, sauce. Rhubarb is very tart so it is impossible not to add sugar which then turns it into a treat! This particular recipe has been around longer than my rhubarb patch. It belonged to Kaitie and Meg’s great grandmother. She made it every spring with the first young stalks of rhubarb from her garden. It is truly an old fashioned country style cake and absolutely delicious! Be sure to read the entire recipe before you start, to ensure there are no surprises.
GRAM’S RHUBARB CAKE
Serves 10 – 12
Preheat oven 350*F
Butter and flour an eight by eight cake pan – set aside
½ cup butter
1 ½ brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 ½ cups rhubarb, cut in ½ inch pieces
Cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy then add egg and vanilla…beat well
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Alternate flour mixture with buttermilk, in thirds, as you blend into the butter mixture ending with buttermilk.
Save 2 tablespoons of flour mixture to dust over cut rhubarb. Make sure the fruit is well covered then fold into batter
Place batter in prepared cake pan.
Mix 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon with ½ cup brown sugar and then sprinkle evenly over top of cake batter.
Place in oven and check at 53 minutes by inserting a wooden toothpick in centre of cake. If it comes out clean the cake is done.
Let cake cool for 10 minutes in cake pan sitting on a cooling rack then remove from cake pan and allow to cool before cutting.