Olé it’s my grandmother’s rhubarb bars

You asked, I answered

rhubarb recipe

I prefer the second recipe.

You can see I have updated it with my Great British Baking show by the gram information. I love my little food scale – it’s so easy to just pour flour and sugar into a bowl. Fewer dishes! More accurate!

Not written because I know this part by heart is that I often double the filling. It makes them gooey, but that’s OK – you just eat them with a spoon.

You might not need all the sugar – the recipe as written is very sweet. My co-worker Matt has been giving me rhubarb. It’s a new variety that’s not as tart as the School That Is Old Rhubarb, so I cut the sugar in half for his.

My grandma cooked and baked for us. I don’t think I ever arrived to visit her not to find cake, bars, cookies, or pie waiting. She would gather raspberries from the brambles by the railroad tracks and freeze them in old Cool Whip containers. When she had enough, she would make raspberry bars for us.

She had a crabapple tree in her yard and would put up crabapple preserves, which were delicious.

She made poppyseed roll and kolaches and pupaki. She informed me that I was not Czech, I was SLOVAK and there is a difference.

She made strudel and she made bread and she taught me how to make them as well. She taught me to make pie – “Don’t work the crust too much!” she warned. “It will get tough!”

When I was a Peace Corps volunteer, I worked on perfecting my strudel. (I didn’t have a lot to do when I wasn’t at work.)

I used the recipe in Joy of Cooking because I didn’t know by feel how much of anything to use. But my strudel wasn’t working. I wrote to my grandmother and sent her a copy of the Joy recipe.

“You need to let the dough rest longer than 20 minutes,” she wrote back. “A few hours at least. And put a little bit of vinegar in the dough.”

She was right. By the time I left Chile, I made an awesome strudel. I still do, although I more recently, I have been working on pie. (Yum. Pie. I need to write about pie. I will do that.)

I didn’t want much from my grandmother’s house after she died, but I was very happy to be able to get her strudel cloth. Every time I make strudel now, I think of her.

My grandmother making strudel.

She has passed her legacy on to her family. Below you see the rolls we made for her funeral.




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