What is rhubarb? My favorite line is that it is one of two perennial vegetables. What is the other perennial vegetable? You can find it at roadside stands all around Lancaster County this time of year…asparagus.
I just love rhubarb. We have been celebrating it at Kitchen Kettle Village for 27 years. One of my favorite activities of the festival is the baking contest. You would not believe the beautiful desserts that are created by local & non-local residents (and they taste great too). There are cakes, pies, crisps, cookies, muffins, and one year even a beverage…all featuring rhubarb. The contest takes place on Saturday, May 22nd at 10:30am; all desserts must be at Kitchen Kettle by 9:30am that morning.
All the desserts are judged by a panel of judges, winners are selected, prizes are handed out ($250 in cash for the grand champion) and did I mention the bragging rights! To be the grand champion of the Kitchen Kettle Rhubarb Dessert Baking Contest puts you in the company of a local cookbook author, a father/baker, a PA Farm Show Grand Champion and the list goes on. It is about the appearance of the dessert, but taste is also a big factor. It’s just the right combination of rhubarb that creates a mouth-watering treat.
My favorite part of the contest is eating the desserts! After we announce the winners, we slice the rhubarb creations and sell them by the slice with all proceeds going to the Lancaster Farmland Trust. It is a win-win situation. Our guests get to enjoy some of the best baking around and the Lancaster Farmland Trust gets some funds to support their preservation efforts.
So how are your baking skills? I encourage you to enter the competition or at least come purchase some outstanding rhubarb desserts at the Kitchen Kettle Village Rhubarb Festival. And if you are saying to yourself, “I don’t like rhubarb,” then you definitely need to come to the event. I know I can tempt you with desserts, beverages & other delicious rhubarb concoctions. Happy spring!