Category: rhubarb

kat-sup. ket-chup. catsup.

When you think of ketchup, you think of tomatoes. 


You also think of Heinz, the #1 ketchup producer in the world. 

The average American* eats THREE bottles a year. Like, woah. Three bottles. We go through one a year, maximum. 

Controversy arose in my kitchen when I made a non-tomato based ketchup. No tomatoes? That isn’t ketchup! Well I am setting things straight right here and now. Ketchup does not need to include tomatoes! In fact, (and I gathered my facts from the venerable source of wikipedia), tomato ketchup gained popularity a full century after traditionally made ketchups, which refer only to a sauce with a vinegar base. Huzzah.

I had a whack of rhubarb and wanted to preserve it somehow, but didn’t want to make more jam. I came across a blog that had a year-long canning challenge, Tigress in a Jam. As jealous as I am that I am not a part of it, I am participating by making some of their delicious recipes, like the Cavalier Ginger & Rhubarb Ketchup from the blog, Laundry Etc. I had never made a ketchup before but had tasted a rhubarb ketchup at the buddha dog corn-dog stand at the farmers market on Saturday and was smitten. I had to have it in my very own pantry. So, now I do. 

In three weeks, I am the proud owner of my very own homemade controversial non-tomato rhubarb ketchup. Victory! 

*not sure about Canadians


The Brickworks Saturday farmers market is quickly becoming my favourite place in the city of Toronto. I have eaten the best belgian waffle of my life from the waffle bar, drank delicious coffee from the merchants of green coffee, bought beautiful tomato plants from the Evergreen garden centre and snacked on the most rich and delicious chili chocolate from Chocosol. The Brickworks is our new Saturday morning routine. 

Early summer produce is now getting to market and I am fulfilling my life-long goal (yes, big dreams, big dreams) to preserve my own food. When I was a kid, my dad always preserved pickles, tomato sauce and salsa, and I have vague memories of the process but hadn’t made anything other than freezer jam since that time. I visited family in Prince Edward Island and was inspired by my great-aunt’s cold cellar and the amazing jarred tomato soup she served for lunch made of tomatoes when they were at their ripest and most delicious. What a pleasure it was to taste a summer tomato soup when it was still cold outside. 

The Dunes in Prince Edward Island

I started with strawberries. I bought a flat of the ripest strawberries from the market and made 9 jars of jam. Alongside this, I made a strawberry rhubarb jam that is far more strawberry than rhubarb. The jam itself is extremely sweet, far too much sugar in the recipe, but live and learn, live and learn. Preserving, or “putting up” is a forgotten skill. Many of our grandparents preserved out of necessity, so that they had food in the leaner times of the year, we don’t need to do this anymore. We can visit the grocery store and have strawberries, albeit, watery, gross and impotent ones, all year round. Preserving the flavours of fresh food while it is at its best and reducing my dependence on the grocery store is important to me. 

And I love new obsessions. This is one of them. 

Red stalks of glory.

I love rhubarb. My dream is to have a patch of my own one day. Big dreams, big dreams.

Rhubarb is everywhere in the markets right now…and questionably out of season strawberries are everywhere….let’s make a pie!


Lattice-Topped Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

from Bon Appétit | April 1997

Yield: Serves 8

For crust
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
10 tablespoons (about) ice water

For filling
3 1/2 cups 1/2-inch-thick slices trimmed rhubarb (1 1/2 pounds untrimmed)
1 16-ounce container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Make crust:
Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until coarse meal forms. Blend in enough ice water 2 tablespoons at a time to form moist clumps. Gather dough into ball; cut in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap separately in plastic; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

Make filling:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine first 7 ingredients in large bowl. Toss gently to blend.

Roll out 1 dough disk on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter flass pie dish. Trim excess dough, leaving 3/4-inch overhang.

Roll out second dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Cut into fourteen 1/2-inch-wide strips. Spoon filling into crust. Arrange 7 dough strips atop filling, spacing evenly. Form lattice by placing remaining dough strips in opposite direction atop filling. Trim ends of dough strips even with overhang of bottom crust. Fold strip ends and overhang under, pressing to seal. Crimp edges decoratively.

Brush glaze over crust. transfer pie to baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool completely.