Sunday, June 8, 2014

Fresh Strawberry Rhubarb Tea Bread

I love this time of year with all the fresh fruit and vegetables coming into season. Sadly not everyone in my house enjoys it as much as I do. Some are not big fruit eaters and others avoid veggies like the plague, even sadder are the few who call rhubarb red celery. 

Yes, rhubarb looks like celery, and yes, out side the U.S. it is considered a vegetable, but according to a U.S. court in 1947 it is a fruit and in my book and fruit worth eating. 
I don't remember the first time I had rhubarb, but I remember the first time I enjoyed it, and enjoyed it so much it left me craving for more. 

Growing up in Southern California, Knott's Berry Farm was a part of my life. 
In those day's it was wonderfully old fashion with Ghost town, General Store,and the Birdcage Theater,
the Goldmine, burro rides,
and Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant.
It's not quiet the same today as it was then, back then all the food was fresh and tasted like your grandma had made it. There was no take out or fast food and the menu was always the same. You had a few choices and one was a side dish with you chicken dinner. 

Feeling experimental and loving cherries, one night I ordered the cherry rhubarb compote. It changed my feelings for rhubarb forever. The sweet tartness of the cherries was only enhanced by the tart flavor of the rhubarb, and I could not get enough. Finding others who shared my cravings has never been easy. When we moved in to our first house in Washington state and I noticed two rhubarb plants I knew it was my time to try to sway my families feelings about the beautiful, tart, red, celery like stuff. I have tried to sneak it into all sorts of things, but I am always found out, until this recipe. The trick is to chop the rhubarb up small and use the smaller tender stalks. Like and tuna salad sandwich without mayo, this bread would not be the same without the rhubarb. It brings a tart, moistness to the bread, that in my opinion can not be duplicated. So enjoy! 

2 eggs
½ cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup finely diced fresh rhubarb
¾ cup finely diced fresh strawberries
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
¼teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon


Beat eggs until thick and foamy, slowly adding sugar, oil, and vanilla; 
beat about 3 more minutes. Mixture should be foamy and thick.
Gently fold in rhubarb and strawberries.
In a separate bowl combine remaining ingredients. Sift into rhubarb and strawberry mixture and stir gently, just until blended. Do not over mix.
Pour into a greased 9x5 loaf pan. Bake at °350 for about 1 hour or until wooden toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack
Top with powder sugar glaze.

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