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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

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Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

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John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

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April 14, 2014

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Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

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April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

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April 2, 2014

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Jewish World Review April 24, 2007 /6 Iyar, 5767

It's Springtime — choose rhubarb

By Ethel G. Hofman

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I adore rhubarb in all its forms. As a child, growing up in the far north Scottish islands, I would stab a fresh plucked, ruby red stick, into the sugar bowl and gleefully scrunch it in my mouth to release the sweet-sour juices. Lacking other summer fruits, my mother poached tiny chunks in a clove scented syrup, put up pots of thick crimson jams, and baked rhubarb pies — sans strawberries. Skeptics may shudder at the "pucker-power" of rhubarb but that's because they've never tasted even one of the hundreds of dishes which depend on its unique, zippy wake-up signature — and they've certainly never delighted in my childhood culinary experience.

The ruby red sticks, called petioles, with their fans of moss green leaves, are one of the first edibles to appear in spring. The thick stalks are edible but the leaves contain oxalic acid and are highly toxic. Cut off and discard. Though commonly mistaken as a fruit, rhubarb is actually a close relative of sorrel and a member of the buckwheat family. Thus it is classed as a vegetable. It originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago and was cultivated only for its medicinal qualities. Through the centuries this caused prices to rise. In 1542, in France, rhubarb sold for ten times the price of cinnamon and in England, in 1657 it sold for over twice the price of opium.

In America rhubarb did not come into its own until the late 1790's when an unnamed Maine gardener obtained seed or root stock from Europe. He introduced it to growers in Massachusetts — and its popularity skyrocketed. By 1822 rhubarb was being sold in markets and Colonial housewives were transforming it into pies, cobblers, sauces, jams, cakes and shrubs, (sweet juice spiked with liquor.) However, cookbooks like the early Joy of Cooking did nothing to enhance rhubarb noting that "only by the wildest stretch of the imagination can rhubarb be included in this (fruit) chapter but its tart flavor .makes it a reasonable facsimile when cooked with other fruit." Thus it probably came about that rhubarb is commonly paired with strawberries.

Rhubarb appears in our markets as early as January and continues to be stocked through April and into May. 3-5 stalks make about 1 pound Look for stalks that are crisp and flat, not curled or limp. If leaves are attached, cut off and discard. Do not peel the stalks. They are high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber. To store, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and place in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to one week. As rhubarb is highly acidic, even with the addition of sugar, cook only in non-aluminum pots. Cooked and raw rhubarb both freeze well.


Serves 4

May be served over ice cream, sponge cake or do as the Brits do — spoon a puddle of poached rhubarb into the center of a dish of custard pudding.

  • 1 pound (4-5 stalks) rhubarb

  • 1/3 cup sugar or to taste

  • 1/3 cup orange juice

Wash and wipe rhubarb stalks. With a sharp knife, cut in slices about 1/2-inch thick. Set aside.

In a medium pot, place the sugar and orange juice. Stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add the rhubarb. Bring to simmer. Partially cover and cook 25 minutes or until rhubarb is tender. Taste syrup. Stir in additional sugar to taste.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 87 protein — 1g carbohydrates - 22g fat — 0g cholesterol — 0mg sodium — 3mg


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup thinly sliced rhubarb

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 3 cups seasoned croutons

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon pepper seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

  • 4 chicken breasts

  • Paprika to sprinkle (optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with non-stick vegetable spray. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and rhubarb and 2 tablespoons water. Saute until softened. Stir in the brown sugar, croutons and ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread over the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

In a cup, mix the lemon pepper seasoning and rosemary. Rub mixture over chicken breasts. Arrange on top of the crouton mixture, skin side up. Sprinkle with paprika (optional). Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cover lightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes longer or until juices run clear when knife is inserted in thickest part.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 564 protein — 39g carbohydrates — 30g fat — 31g cholesterol — 111mg sodium — 678mg


Any thick fleshy fish such as cod or salmon may be used for this

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce

  • 1/3 cup low sodium vegetable broth

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 2 teaspoons sugar or to taste

  • 1 pound cod fillet, cut in 3/4-inch chunks

  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  • Hot fluffy rice or noodles (optional)

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and rhubarb. Reduce heat to medium low. Cook, stirring often until softened, about 20 minutes.

Add the marinara sauce, broth, cumin and 2 teaspoons sugar. Mix well. Bring to simmer. Cook 10 minutes or until mixture is thick. Add more sugar if needed and salt and pepper to taste. Add the cod. Raise heat to medium. Bring to simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of fish. Ma be spooned over hot cooked rice or noodles.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 207 protein — 22g carbohydrates — 10g fat — 9g cholesterol — 42mg sodium — 212mg


Makes about 1 pint

A taste-tingling accompaniment to meat, poultry and fish dishes

  • 1 medium onion, cut in chunks

  • 3 stalks rhubarb, slices about 1-inch thick

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon curry powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon each ground cloves and nutmeg

  • 1/2 cup chopped dates

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Place the onion and rhubarb in the food processor. Pulse 5 to 8 seconds to make 1/4-inch chunks. Set aside.

In a large heavy saucepan mix the sugar, vinegar, 2 tablespoons water, salt, curry powder, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Add the onion and rhubarb. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to simmer. Cook 20 minutes , stirring often. Add the dates and cranberries. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes longer, or until thick. Stir often. Spoon into jars. Keeps in refrigerator up to 1 month.

Approx. nutrients per tablespoon: calories — 22 protein — 0g carbohydrates — 6g fat — 0g cholesterol — 0mg sodium — 74mg


Serves 6

To make pareve, substitute margarine for the butter

  • About 4 cups rhubarb, cut in 1/2-inch slices

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, lightly drained

  • Topping: 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed

  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Scant 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 2 quart casserole with non-stick vegetable spray. Toss the rhubarb with flour and sugar. Stir in the pineapple. Transfer to prepared casserole.

Prepared the topping: In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle over rhubarb in casserole.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Cover loosely with foil. Bake 15 minutes longer until golden brown and bubbling at edges.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories - 488 protein - 3g carbohydrates - 95mg fat - 12g cholesterol - 31mg sodium - 22mg


Serves 4-6

I've adapted this from a recipe given to me by my Scottish cousin who found it on a Sainsbury (British supermarket chain) container label. A "fool" is an old-fashioned English dessert of pureed fruit and whipped cream.

  • 3 cups rhubarb, sliced about 1/4-inch thick

  • 1/2 cup sugar plus to taste

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

  • 1 large ripe banana, thinly sliced

  • 1 cup light sour cream

    Place the rhubarb, 1/2 cup sugar, ginger and 2 tablespoons water in a medium pot. Stir and bring to simmer over medium heat. Cook 15 minutes or until rhubarb is breaking up. Stir often. Add the banana. Puree in the food processor. Pour into a bowl and chill. Whisk in the sour cream. If needed, add sugar to taste.

    Approx. nutrients per serving: calories — 148 protein — 2g carbohydrates — 31g fat — 3g cholesterol — 13mg sodium — 53mg

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    JWR contributor Ethel G. Hofman is the former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, whose members include the likes of Julia Child. She is the author, most recently, of "Everyday Cooking for the Jewish Home: More Than 350 Delectable Recipes". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

    To comment, please click here.

    © 2007, Ethel G. Hofman