Sunday, May 16, 2021

Rhubarb, the First Rose, and Learning Something New


This year's first prize for a rose in my garden goes to an unknown floribunda. She surprised me today with this bloom and I noticed several others showing a bit of colour. I pruned her severely in the spring, and although she's not as tall as she sometimes gets, there are plenty of buds.

Rhubarb, either you like it or you don't. We do. Our rhubarb plant is huge this year and I pulled many stalks this week. Several years ago I learned that one should pull out the stalks rather than cut them, and that has solved the problem of the plant going to seed so early. 
I canned six small jars of rhubarb sauce for the pantry shelves, and also roasted rhubarb with frozen strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries from last year's garden along with maple syrup for a flavourful compote. I notice there are quite a few packages of strawberries left so I will make a point of using them up soon. Already green berries are forming on this year's plants! And who wants to eat frozen strawberries when fresh ones are available?

I had some leftover pastry in the freezer which I thawed and rolled out to make a skimpy crust for a rhubarb custard pie. We enjoyed it for dessert at noon, and each had a little sliver after a light dinner. The custard makes the rhubarb quite mild. A hint of nutmeg and vanilla add to the satisfying flavour. 

Our tenants have set out a little table of sweet red bell peppers to dry in the sunshine for the past couple of days. I was curious to know what they would do with dried red peppers. When I asked they said they would grind them to a powder to make paprika. Well. 

How is it that I was never curious enough to find out what paprika was made of? I did a little internet research and discovered that hot paprika is simply made from hot peppers and sweet paprika from sweet peppers. In some languages the word for bell peppers and paprika is the same. 

So that's my new bit of knowledge for today. 

After doing a bit of weeding this afternoon I clipped a rather wild looking bouquet from what's currently in bloom - pale violet columbines, dark blue cornflowers, and a few last stems of bluebells. Sprigs of lemon balm and vinca provided the green. 

It's been a beautiful weekend of sunshine and we've thoroughly enjoyed it knowing that a bit of cooler weather and some much needed rain are in the week's forecast. I have a walk planned with a friend and some sewing I plan to do. 


  1. I have learnt something new too. The link between paprika and peppers was totally unknown. Your deep pink rose is beautiful as is your posy. Rather wet and windy here at the moment. Always worrying when you see the blossom trees being buffeted. Have a good week. B x

  2. I recently learned about paprika as well!

    I love your wild floral arrangement. Such beauty from the garden. I am not a rhubarb lover, but made into a custard pie might be interesting. (grin)

    First rose! My peonies are close to blooming! I love this time of year!

  3. Is your rose maybe a Gertrude Jekyll? It looks similar and they are often out before the others. Such a pretty bouquet.

  4. Thanks for sharing your new knowledge. I had no idea what paprika came from. Very interesting.

  5. I learned something new today too! I do like rhubarb. We use to eat it raw as children, right out of the garden and rinsed with a garden hose.

  6. I'm a rhubarb fan. I learned about paprika from your blog today. When you did the Danube cruise, did you visit the market in Budapest? They sold lots of dried peppers and paprika.

  7. I have donated all my ruhubarbs to the daughter, because my husband doesn't like them. Your bouquet is looking gorgeous - like the summer itself! Simply lovely. We have had lovely wether, but now it should rain heavily with thunder for many consecutive days. We'll see.

  8. It seems I have learned something new too. Very interesting.
    The first rose is a pretty one and always such a delight to see.
    I do like rhubarb. With our warm climate, it is a little hard to come by locally. I remember it growing in my grandmother's garden in Detroit. As kids we would put a bit of sugar in our palm and dip the fresh stalks in. As I recall it was a lovely sweet/tart treat.

  9. I didn’t know about paprika either. Thank you for sharing. Your garden is way ahead of ours.

  10. Thank you for the paprika information--I did not know that! I so look forward to rhubarb every spring--my favorite springtime food. Our rhubarb is just now getting big enough to pull and I plan on making a rhubarb pie soon. Loved your pictures of the rose and the flower arrangement.

  11. Your Rose is very lovely.
    The pie looks delicious (we're fans of rhubarb around here)
    I wonder just how dry the peppers would have to be. I think I will find out and make my own paprika. That way I can mix in just the amount of hot peppers that I like.Thanks for that information.

  12. We used to make rhubarb pie every year as we had a rhubarb plant. I don't know about your paprika. My friend from Poland, said they grew paprika from a plant?????? Maybe it the same thing you are saying.. Probably

  13. You’ve been busy canning and pie baking, Lorrie. Thank you for the information on paprika! You’d think I’d know that, but never really thought about it.
    I’m glad that your grands got to be together for the family outing, in your previous post. Families need that connection, don’t they.
    I hope you have a lovely week!

  14. I didn't know that about paprika either!

    I've only had rhubarb as part of a strawberry pie. I've love to try your rhubarb custard pie!

    It goes without saying that I'm loving the purple flowers in your garden bouquet!

  15. Fresh rhubarb pie or any dessert is hard to beat. I even like a rhubarb jam on a homemade roll.

  16. Such beautiful flowers, Lorrie! We have mostly early spring blooms here but I was happy to finally see them arrive. We have been getting a lot of rain so everything has turned very green and lovely for a while. I learned on a trip that rhubarb saved many people in the cold north of Alaska from getting Vitamin C deficiency over the early years of settlement, so it is quite popular there.
    I did know paprika is made with dried peppers. Italians also do the same with their sweet and hot peppers and use the powder as a spice. We like the hot pepper blend the best.

  17. Well, who knew about paprika! Cool.
    I did some weeding, too, but I don't think it'll do any good... and the bugs! Agh!

  18. I love your wild bouquet of flowers! I don't pick flowers on our hikes but I am very tempted to pick some blackberries this week...they are ripe and I think there's enough for the critters AND me! lol Hugs!

  19. Well I never knew that about paprika either. Good to know. Your rhubarb custard dessert looks yummy!

  20. Your bouquet is beautiful! I need to be more creative when it comes to putting different plants together.

    Interesting bit of knowledge about paprika. I didn't know either!

  21. I love the rose colour.
    I love rhubarb and strawberry crumble.
    I have planted some rhubarb, but it does not like our ground and is not very big.
    It’s nice that you can go out for walks , here the third lockdown is over today and we must be home by 21 instead of 19 at night.
    I will have my second vaccin next week.
    But the weather here is rain and more rain! Not easy to go out.
    Have a nice day.

  22. Wow, thank you for the paprika news. I thought paprika is a plant used to make paprika. lol
    Beautiful flowers

  23. That is my kind of perfect bouquet! One year we accidentally brought home wild violets on logs from a day's woodcutting -- our lawn had violets in it forever after (well, until we sold the house at least). I loved it.... I wonder what your neighbors cook with paprika that makes the home-dried version so much better? I think drying food is a lovely thing to do and I did know about paprika. But I would find another use for dried red bell peppers (if we didn't eat them all fresh from the garden) -- I love using them in cooking or for snacking and cans of paprika last forever.

  24. I stumbled on you page. I love what you write about. I am a blogger too. I wish to continue following your blog. I have learnt something new here today. And I love your flower arrangement. It was a very interesting read.

  25. Paprika is popular in our house :)

    I do like your wild flower bouquet, it looks very nice.

    All the best Jan

  26. What a pretty rose. Your rhubarb jars looks yummy - I love rhubarb relish. I know, there are so many things I just take for granted, not curious about knowing more. Thanks for sharing your own discovery about paprika and bell / hot peppers.

  27. Lorrie - a lovely rose - I want to touch the petals and smell the aroma!!! I love rhubarb and grew up with it as a child. We would often eat the stalks with sugar. I have never heard of pulling the stalks - my Mom always cut them. Pulling does not affect the roots? Glad to see all the blooms in your garden. We are still a few weeks from that - in fact, we had light snow overnight on the hills around us!!!

  28. Well, that's new to me as well, that paprika is made from peppers!
    You have me hungry now for a dessert with custard in it. I hope you get to see your parents soon; todays news sounded promising!


Thank you for commenting. Each comment is a connection between us. I read each one and will usually visit your blog in return. If you are a no-reply blogger, then I will not be able to respond to you directly. If you have a Google+ blog, I am unable to comment there.

In My Winter Garden

  A winter garden is a subtle thing. There is a spare architecture of bare branches and geometric shapes. Rose bushes show their thorns on g...