Sunday, June 3, 2012

Grandma Ruth's Rhubarb Relish

Ever since I started this elimination diet, my milk supply has been a bit hit and miss. It was confusing because I was eating all kinds of oats and flax and other galactogogues. I was drinking many cups of nursing tea and that helped a bit. But every time I stopped, my supply would drop again. A few weeks ago I saw a tweet that said that if you're struggling with milk supply you should increase your protein.

I have never in my life been concerned with protein intake even though I've been mostly vegetarian for 12 years or so. I ate enough dairy, wheat, corn, soy, eggs, nuts and seeds that it was never a problem. But apparently when you're breastfeeding you need 65 grams of protein a day and a cup of oatmeal only has 6 grams in it. Ever since I've been struggling to eat more protein. We've already given up vegetarianism for chicken and fish, and we started cooking chicken ourselves. But there's only so much chicken and fish one can have in a week.

At the same time I've been reading a lot about how grass-fed meat is so much better for you than grain-fed meat. I've never had moral concerns with eating meat; my pseudo-vegetarianism was more about health and sustainability. So now I'm realizing that well-raised meat can be a part of a healthy diet and a healthy planet. 

I've discovered a local farmer who raises all kinds of pastured meat. She no longer sells at our usual market so yesterday we finally made the trek to the more distant market she sells at. We bought some nitrate-free bacon, turkey sausages, stewing goat (!) (I don't think I've ever eaten goat in my life!) and a chicken. Sadly she was out of the maple and cranberry pork sausage, cause I would totally try that.

It's so weird because I'd gotten really squeamish about eating red meat in my years away, but now I feel totally ok with it. (It helps that I'm REALLY HUNGRY for protein.) I've even been thinking about eating things like rabbit. There actually is a local rabbit farmer at the same market but my husband isn't quite there yet.

Anyways, we decided to have the turkey sausages today since rhubarb is plentiful and I've been wanting to make my Grandma Ruth's Rhubarb Relish for the first time. I have to say, it was super easy and pretty great. My mom was pretty vague with the canning instructions, so all I did was sterilize the jars and I'll keep them in the fridge. If you know about canning and things, please share what I should do.

Here's the recipe:

4 cups chopped rhubarb
4 cups chopped onions
3 cups white sugar
375 ml malt vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar to avoid the gluten and it tasted just as good)
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon

You throw them in a pot, mix it, bring it to a boil then let it boil gently for about 45 minutes. I think I let it boil a little too gently because it took over an hour before the rhubarb really broke down and it matched the consistency I have in my memory.

My family eats it with sausage and chicken. It would probably be great on a turkey sandwich or dipping pakoras into, but I haven't tried that.

Edited to add: If you like rhubarb, you should definitely try this recipe for rhubarb custard crisp. Yum!


  1. That sounds yummy! I love anything rhubarb - we had some friends over for a bbq last night and they brought strawberry rhubarb pie. Yum...

    Did you eat it raw out of the garden as a kid? I did.

  2. Yep - dipped in sugar.

    Oh, I meant to include a link to the rhubarb custard crisp recipe we're enjoying. It's here