Readers respond to rhubarb!

Two local readers divulge their cherished rhubarb recipes
I knew that I would get some comments and teasing from my admission last month about not being able to grow rhubarb, but I didn)t expect so many responses.
   It turns out that many people are passionate about rhubarb. Based on comments that readers made to me, either they can)t get rid of their plant or they really enjoy it.
   Today I have two excellent recipes to share with you that came from Central Oregonian readers. Kathy Newton of Prineville e-mailed me with a good tip on how to help rhubarb grow big and full. She says a friend told her to cover the plant with horse manure in the fall. Kathy tried this last year and it worked really well. I wonder if it would make a difference if the horse manure was aged or not? Kathy also shared a great recipe for In a Hurry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. All you have to do is mix together 5 & cups of rhubarb cut into small pieces, & package of strawberry Jell-O, 1 cup sugar and ^ cup of flour. Spread this out on the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan. Next you will make 1 package of yellow or white cake mix according to directions and pour over the rhubarb mix in the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. It is quick, easy and doesn)t call for a lot of ingredients. I thought it would be good with some whipped topping too! Thank you Kathy for this great last minute dessert idea!
   Joyce Jollo of Powell Butte also e-mailed me with a recipe that is unique. Joyce uses rhubarb for many desserts including a cookie recipe. I was curious, having never seen a cookie recipe using rhubarb so I asked Joyce to share it with me.
   She graciously lent it to me and I would like to share it with you. Thank you Joyce for letting me borrow this unusual recipe and share it with everyone else. I thought the cookies were great with and without the frosting.
   I appreciate all the positive comments about the column and for the suggestions on how to make it even better. I should mention that my husband thinks that he is responsible for making my rhubarb plant grow so well. This winter he started dumping his coffee grounds into my flower bed near the rhubarb. I have read that coffee grounds work really well in compost and have been mixing it into the dirt to help create a better soil for the flowers. He may be right, or it could be that it is the third year for the plant and that is when they are established enough to start really producing. I think it must be both.
   Rhubarb Cookies
   3 oz cream cheese, softened
   1 T butter, softened
   3 tsp vanilla
   1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
   1 cup shortening
   1 1/2 cups brown sugar
   2 eggs
   3 cups flour
   1 tsp baking soda
   1/2 tsp salt
   1 1/2 cups diced rhubarb
   3/4 cup coconut
   Mix together shortening and brown sugar until smooth. Add eggs mixing well. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt and slowly add to creamed mixture. Add rhubarb and coconut and mix carefully.
   Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Frost when cool and enjoy!
   Becky Teater is a Powell Butte resident. She welcomes your recipe ideas and comments and can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..