The Covered Dish
By Debbie Dance Uhrig
Except for the neighbors setting off fireworks, it was a quiet and subdued holiday, at our home. Good food, a couple of friends and our immediate family made it pretty intimate. We had abundant flavors swirling on our palate, for 2 full days!
Last week in the column I reached out again with the cottage cheese salad. I posted a picture on Facebook Friday and received requests for the black cherry version. So, one more time, lets visit the old-fashioned cottage cheese salad. This week I once again made it sugar free, then flipped it into a black cherry salad. The only adaptions on the recipe will be the fruits and jello choice. I kept the tidbit pineapple and used 1 cup of deseeded, halved and quartered Bing cherries, which are in season. The jello used was black cherry. The cottage cheese was 4 % fat and I definitely recommend it over 1 or 2 % fat.
New recipe time! 2 weeks ago I made a double batch of rhubarb punch. The recipe was provided by my good friends Willis and Irene Norman, hailing from the great state of Minnesota. When I first made the punch and sampled, I thought it was good, but not strong on flavor. The flavor developed the longer it set. We drank some, shared with friends and froze the remaining. I should also mention I replaced the sugar with agave nectar, using only about a cup. Guidelines are to use about two thirds of the sugar when switching to agave. The agave is much better for the glycemic index over regular sugar, honey, etc.
Like our friend, Norman, Ervin and I do not care to dilute the punch down with Ginger-ale or any other white soda. The soda pop is an option, you’ll have to try it and gather your own conclusion. If you made it into the punch I think my opinion could change too.
Finding rhubarb-? Well many states like Colorado are just harvesting. If you try to purchase it inside a store it could be difficult. Many stores, in the last 2 years, have removed it, or are carrying very little of the fruit. So, why did I run it with the season basically done, here in Missouri? Because you can make other made from scratch fruit drinks. Peaches are coming into season, and I think they would be delicious made into a juice or punch. If you look down you will see the recipe for the rhubarb has frozen OJ and Pink lemonade added. If I were going with a peach I might try regular lemonade and white grape juice. ‘If’ there are any raspberry concentrates out there, it could be interesting, or it could look very uninviting.
For those seeking a little ‘buzz’, to their beverage, I’m sure a little vodka or gin would be a complimentary addition. Or, it could easily be made into sangria or wine spritzer. If you need help on that one, well, visit the internet. Do remember to use a dry wine and I would go with white, versus red.
OK, need to go and cook a meal for me family, be back at you. During Fajita prepping I fixed the rhubarb drink with dry chardonnay, super!
Try something new, plan a drive-way party with distancing. Have a family or friend zoom gathering. Do restaurant pick-up and eat it with friends, while social distancing. Call a mature friend who could use some verbal stimulation. Seriously friends, conversing with others is very important, in our mental health.
Just try not to gossip! OK, let’s see that recipe—Simply yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Provided by Willis & Irene Norman
8 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 quarts water/12 cups
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar or 1 cup agave nectar
1 (6 oz.) can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 (6 oz.) can frozen pink lemonade concentrate (Some use pineapple juice.)
7-Up or Ginger ale, if desired
1 pint rhubarb drink, undiluted/or concentrate
1 pint vanilla ice cream or orange sherbet
Trim and wash rhubarb, (cut stalks into 1/2 inch pieces). Cover rhubarb in large stockpot with the 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and simmer until rhubarb is totally tender. Drain the pulp through a colander. Using a potato masher pulverize out as much juice as possible, before discarding the pulp. Continue by stirring in sugar or agave, and frozen juice concentrates. Stir until everything is well mixed. One recipe yielded me about 3 1/2 quarts. Because orange juice and lemonade only come in 12 ounces I did a double recipe from the very beginning. Ending with 7 quarts for the freezer. The flavor truly improves as the juice sets. Stir well before serving. Serve straight up over ice or mixed with a white soda pop 50/50.
For the punch you can actually make individually by putting half of the ice cream or sherbet in a glass followed by the rhubarb drink/soda blend. A bit like a float. OR make a huge punch bowl!
With the punch bowl use equal amounts of concentrate to ice cream or sherbet. Dilute as desired.
Consider making this punch with fresh peaches. With this combination I would use regular frozen lemonade and white grape juice. Instead of white soda pop, purchase the flavored peach water/spritzers, at the grocery store.
July 6, 2020