Sunday, April 17, 2011

Lilies, Rhubarb Mead, and a New Cooker

Spring is here in the Pacific Northwest as the showers will attest--we've had a wet Spring so far, which is par for the course around here.  Prompted into bloom by the rain, these Checkered Lilies are delicate beauties that I always forget about until they bloom out. 

Another spring treat, local rhubarb, has arrived in the markets.  I always feel like I want to do something different with rhubarb.  With that in mind, I tried my hand at some rhubarb mead. 

The Stripey Cat directed me to this recipe (scroll down to the third recipe on the page). It calls for rhubarb (I threw in some strawberries too), sugar, yeast and water. Here's what it looks like after fermenting for 24 hours:

Then strained and put into bottles:

It's supposed to sit in a cool place for another three days...I'll let you know how it turns out. 

Always a source of interesting recipes, The Stripey Cat  also posted a recipe for rhubarb tzatziki that I think will be my next foray into rhubarb this season. She also directed to me to a link for rhubarb pickles, which I want to try, but I can't post the link because I've lost it.  I'll need to do some backtracking and find it. 

In other news, we got a new cooker. We've been in the same rental house for the last four years, and the stove was a gem from the 70's. When was the last time you saw a "digital" display like that?

To be fair, it worked great until about six months ago when two of the top burners went out...basically the electrical wires were disintegrating. I cooked on two wonky burners for a few months, but then when the oven went, I finally called the landlord, and he brought us a shiny new cooker. 

On the food front, we've been eating lots of beans and salads...nothing too spectacular, but healthy and satisfying. 

I also bought some kelp noodles that I want to try and hopefully blog about soon. Until then, happy April everyone. 


  1. I love those lilies! They are GORGEOUS! Please let me know how the mead turns out! I am super interested!

  2. What a great post! Your entire first sentence is total poetry:
    "Spring is here in the Pacific Northwest as the showers will attest--we've had a wet Spring so far, which is par for the course around here."

    So nice. I've never seen anything like those lilies, they're beautiful.
    That shiny new oven is pretty sweet too ;)

  3. The checkered lily is spectacular. I've never seen one like that. And the mead ... you make the most interesting stuff. I'll be curious to hear how it turns out. I think you should invite me over for a swig. :D

    Yay for the new stove — it's always nice to have four working burners. I'm a fan of gas stoves, but maybe that's because I've never had an electric one.

  4. Checkered Lilies = (now my)most favorite flower ever!! ive never seen such pretty lillies!(cept my lilly duckling of course)thank you for going out into the elemets to get that for us. when i moved into walters mobile home, all of our kitchen stuff looked like that, half was broken too! we only had two burners, and one oven didnt work, the dishwassher was used as storage...but i think that they are cuter than the new stuff. i think colored appliances are going to back "in" they already are coming back in the washer dryers and small appliances. was so happy to see a post from you!! Shen guilted you into it?:) ttysoon friend

  5. The Lilies are gorgeous! I can't wait to see flowers here, but it'll probably be a few weeks yet. I love rhubarb & will be looking forward to hearing how the meat turns out.

    Yay for a new stove! The retro one was pretty awesome. :)

  6. I was totally shocked to see 'Dandelion' near the top of my 'other vegans' blog list this morning! I'm like, 'Duh, who dat?'

    Did you plant those Lillies or were they there before? I really enjoy the perennials that the previous owners of our house planted. Happy surprises.

    Congrats on the 'Cooker'. Now get cookin' and bloggin'!

  7. Oh, my gosh - I've never heard of checkered lilies before, now I must have them! They would be at home in my flower bed with the other lilies and daffodils. So pretty.

    I can't believe you've been making such beautiful meals on two burners! Hah! Now, what will you do with four? You'll have to have four things going on at once on top and bake something at the same time, just for fun, you know! :-)

  8. Carissa

    I'll definitely let you know how the mead turns out. Fingers crossed, it's good.


    Poetry? Aw, that's nice of you to say.

    The lilies are a unique looking flower and their botanical name is Fritillaria meleagris, and they are also called Fritillaries, which is sort of poetic too I think. :)


    If the mead turns out "swigable", you're on!

    As for the stove, I think gas is way better than electric, and I'm pretty sure you'd agree if you had occasion to compare the two. Of course, as renters, we don't have a lot of say in the matter....someday, I hope to have a nice kitchen of my own with a gas range. :)


    I know what you mean about the old and used stuff being has more character. I'm that way with houses too. To be fair, that old stove worked a treat for a really long really was from the 70's. I doubt if the new cooker will last half as long, the way they make things these days.

    No, Shen didn't guilt me into it. But she has done before. :) This time, I did it all by myelf.

  9. Molly

    I like retro stuff too...reminds me of my childhood and makes me feel right at home :) I doubt the new one will last half as long.

    Hope the spring flowers pop their heads up soon for you!


    I know, can you believe it? I got off my duff in blogland. I hope to be posting a bit more regularly in the next few weeks.

    The lilies are some that I planted in a pot a few years ago. I'm afraid the previous people in this house weren't really into planting perennials :D


    You should definitely pick up a few bulbs...they would make a charming addition to your other spring flowers.

    I know what you mean. I've got three going at once, but still need to make a feast to require all four at once: :)

  10. I love checkered lilies and rhubarb! Congrats on the new stove, you really deserve it!

  11. Wow, those checkered lilies are amazing! I've never seen anything like them! You're so adventurous to make rhubarb mead! I like that you really stepped out of the ordinary with that one. I hope it's delicious! In other news, you and I have the exact same stove! We're stove sisters! ;)

  12. Love the lilies! And the rhubarb :)

  13. Your lilies are beautiful! I've never seen any like that!
    I've never had rhubarb...apparently I must change that. :o)
    I'm laughing about your old stove, because that's exactly what mine looks like now. I keep praying that it will just die, so I can get a new one. Every time something goes wrong with ours Tony always seems to be able to fix it....boooo...ha
    I'm so glad that you decided to come back to the blog world!

  14. Thanks Jennifer and VegSpinz


    Stove sisters! :D


    I know what you mean, I was waiting and waiting for the stove to finally give up. In situations like that, I'm sort of glad that my hubby is not the handy man type, but other times, I wish he were! :D

    Thanks for the welcome back...:)

  15. Delicate checkered lilies -- I'v only seen them in a garden once in my life time -- I so appreciate them. Rubarb is a great early plant -- my kids loved just plain old rhubarb stew (sugar, water, rhubarb) when they were living at home. Your photos are just great! -- barbara

  16. Well, it seems like the Checkered Lilies are a hit! I've never seen them before, either! I made a rhubarb pie once with frozen rhubarb, and that is the extent of my experience with it. I'm happy for you that you got a new stove. Your old one was cook, though. Your new one looks good, though, with the turquoise cookware. I have one Le Creuset piece that color, and I love it.

  17. The Rhubarb mead looks interesting, I should try it... I see if I have enough bottles first :-). What kind of bottle top do you need? I see that you bottles are open, are they meant to stay open or do you close them and wait for the raisins to rise to the top?

    Sorry, so many questions :-)


    Your flowers are really beautiful!

  18. I am also amazed by the checkered flowers. They look unreal!

    I am going to have to check out the rhubarb tzatziki. It does sound mad. And I agree, your salad looks great. Thanks for sharing something so simple. I need to put chickpeas with green beans.

  19. Barbara

    I agree, the checkered lilies are something you don't see too often. I can't remember where I picked those bulbs up.

    The rhubarb stew sounds so simple and yummy.


    I have a few of the Crueset peices...they're nice and it's like lifting weights when you use them...a bit of a work out. : )


    I just used the bottle tops that went with the bottles...I didn't seal them properly with corks or caps, so once the raisins rise, I'll refrigerate it. :)


    Hey, great to hear from you! The rhubarb tzatziki sounds interesting doesn't? And oh, yes, chickpeas and green satisfying together, especially when you douse them in tasty vinaigrette, or better yet, let them marinate in it.

  20. Ah, the rainy Pacific Northwest: I miss it!! I enjoyed the lovely photos (and the checkered lilies are new to me, too). They are beautiful! The stove cracks me up because I have something similar. We just moved into a house that was built in the 1970s (and never updated). Our new appliances are causing some serious sticker shock - I think I need some of that mead!

  21. Christina

    I know what you mean... I lived abroad for many years, and I never stopped feeling a little nostalgic for this climate...maybe because I grew up here, or maybe because the air is so fresh and lovely with all the rain.

    Those old stoves were good ones, I actually quite liked the old thing, but like anything or anyone, eventually they give up the ghost. :)

  22. Ciao, just back for a drink... is it ready yet :-)


  23. Alessandra

    Yes, I think it is. Sadly, the mead didn't turn out stellar; it's ok, but sort of tastes like yeasty sugar water. It has very little alcohol, which can be a good thing, I suppose. I think I'll use it blended with other juices as a mixer, it does have a light quality to it that is lightly refreshing.

    It could have been due to the type of yeast I used I suppose, or perhaps it just wasn't in the stars for me! :)

  24. Ciao Rose,

    thank you for the answer. Maybe this recipe is a bit like ginger beer (fizzy and nice but not alcoholic) you could call it rhubarb beer :-).
    I wander if for a real mead you must use honey, lots of it... or at least, this is what I though...


  25. the stove is beautiful. What a gem.

  26. I want to add you to my blogroll but I don't have the correct blog address. Can you stop by my blog and leave me there your blog address...thanks.

  27. Alessandra

    I like your idea about calling it rhubarb beer, definitely more apt than naming it "mead". :)


    Thanks for stopping by, will do. :)

  28. :) Well, it's been said, but those lilies are extraordinary! I've never seen them before, but they are so lovely!

    Congrats on the new kitchen goods :) I'm a sucker for older styles, too, but if this one cooks nicely I'm sure it will become a favorite.

    Can't wait to read how the mead turns out!

  29. I just realized I said, "Your new one was cook." I hope you realized I meant "Your new one was cool." hee hee


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