How did we do it? We got our kids on board! Back in the winter we had the kids help us clean out the pit of utter dispair that is our basement. We have a huge basement but it slowly got filled with toys. It literally looked like ToysRus threw up all over the place ... and then threw up again. We had games, puzzles, Playmobile, naked Cabbage Patch dolls, plastic food, Mr Potato Head appendages strewn all over the floor, dress up clothes ... you name it, we had it. There were toys that I know my kids haven't played with for years. Why were we hanging onto this stuff? We're sentimental and lazy. A bad combo if ever there was one.
Brad and I knew we had to organize the basement but we are more than just pretty faces. We quickly realized that in order to get the kids to part with their stuff (we were more than happy to sell our own stuff) they had to agree to it. How did we entice them? With the promise of a trip to Great Wolf Lodge with the proceeds of our sale! Once they knew that trip was on the proverbial table they were all for selling some of their stuff. We're talking about Zhu Zhu pets, a play kitchen, books, old bikes!! It's all gone from m'house!! We all couldn't be happier.
Garage sales aren't the only thing that we did this past week. I also got baking again!! With the stress of work and just being plain tired I haven't been in the mood to bake. But when I was offered a bunch of 'just picked' rhubarb I had to jump at the offer. Who doesn't thankfully accept fresh rhubarb?!?! No one, that's who. There's something awesome about rhubarb that I just adore. Bake it into a cake, pie, muffin, cobbler, crisp and I'm in heaven. This cake was delish, my friends! Thanks go to Marian for the rhubarb donation that inspired this cake!
Unfortunately, I cannot rely on my own rhubarb at the current moment to provide for my rhubarb addiction -- I have but a few spindly pathetic stalks. This is definitely not true for Marian's plant. She gave me enough rhubarb to make this cake .... and put away eleven cups in my freezer. It's May here people!! In Canada!!! Harvesting any sort of veg/fruit is unheard of!!
Let's just say that I was so excited to receive this gift of the 'barb that I spent my Tuesday night chopping up said rhubarb and then was baking this cake at 10pm. This recipe is definitely a keeper. It's got a great texture and is wonderfully moist. The cinnamon/nutmeg topping mustn't be missed either. It adds a nice, light spiciness to the cake. This cake was perfect as a snack cake for the kids lunches and, truth be told, my lunch too. Delicious! With my stockpile of rhubarb in my freezer I will definitely be making this cake again soon!
Moist Rhubarb Cake
Yield: one 9x13-inch pan
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk (see note below)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup white flour
2 cups raw, sliced rhubarb (Update - May 15, 2012 -- I've increased the rhubarb to 2 cups from 1 3/4 cups due to personal preference)
3 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until smooth. Add egg and salt. Stir in buttermilk, sour cream and vanilla.
In a medium bowl, blend together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. Mix and add to the butter mixture. Gently fold in the rhubarb. Pour (batter will be very thick) batter into the prepared pan.
Combine white sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle over batter. Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Note: I never buy real buttermilk. Instead, I add white vinegar to 1% milk (1 tbsp of vinegar for every 1 cup of milk). Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and voila! An easy (and slightly chunky) substitute for buttermilk. Don't let the wee chunkies scare you.
Tip: This recipe could easily be made into muffins. Just decrease the baking time (try 15-20 minutes at 375F).