At the rhubarb patch in the corner of the garden, Styrsö.
Text & Photo © JE Nilsson, CM Cordeiro, Sweden 2016
Strong winds, half grey skies that threaten a tropical thunderstorm at any minute, and a comfy 10degC outdoors. The Swedish west coast summer is coming along just fine.
Sitting cozy and happy in the corner of the garden are the rhubarb plants now ready for their first picking. These gorgeous leaved, crimson stalked perennials were widely used in China for their medicinal purposes long before finding their way to the middle-east and farther west in the medieval times.
I contemplated between using the first pickings towards pie filling, but then felt very much for stewed rhubarb instead. For a portion of that, what’s needed is about 200g of rhubarb with about 1 dl of white sugar, 2 dl of water and 2 heaped tsp of potato flour to thicken the stew. In Sweden, rhubarb stew or rabarberkräm is topped with either milk or if preferred, heavy cream.
The lustrous foliage of the rhubarb make for a pretty sight, but are not recommended for salads or stir-fries.
Coming along, the strawberries. This year’s plan will be as last year’s, strawberries with cream.
Chives in bloom. In Sweden, these are most often used as garnish over matjes herring topped with sour cream, as a quintessential dish served at a midsummer table sitting.
Rabarberkräm (rhubarb stew), topped with cream, an alternative to the rhubarb pie.