I have eaten Rhubarb since I was a little girl. Our elderly gentleman neighbor had a patch of Rhubarb growing along the fence line next to our backyard. I used to reach through the fence and snatch a piece every year. I’m not sure I really enjoyed the tartness of the edible stalk but the elderly neighbor never used it and as a kid I felt like I was getting away with something by taking a piece. I never knew, as a kid, that the leaves were poisonous. So make sure you don’t ever let kids or pets get ahold of the leaves! I grow Rhubarb and it has been there for over 20 years. When you pick Rhubarb it should have nice stiff stalks, if they are limp don’t use them. Once I pick my Rhubarb I cut off the poisonous leaves, wash the stalks, cut the stalks into 1/2″ pieces and I freeze 2 cups of the pieces in a bread bag. I place my 2 cup bags into a gallon Ziploc freezer bag to use all summer and winter long.
If you are not going to freeze it, store it in the refrigerator in a plastic bag and use within a few days. Rhubarb is a perennial and harvested in the spring. Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, however, it is frequently added with fruit and made into desserts. Rhubarb-Strawberry Pie is very popular where I live. I personally like plain Rhubarb Pie better than with strawberries. Some other of my favorites are Rhubarb Sauce, Rhubarb Muffins and Rhubarb Cake. I will be posting a recipe using Rhubarb in the near future. Rhubarb originated in China. Rhubarb is fat-free, cholesterol free, low in calories and a great laxative!