Life’s challenges and rhubard-oats squares…

by Sunita on May 11, 2007

Last night I slept like a log…in fact I usually do, what after a long day, and considering that I wake up quite early. But yesterday was extra long for your’s truly went for a swim with her friend P and by the time she returned, she had had it for the day and hit the bed straight away…

Now…did I say swim…ooops, well, actually, it was a swimming lesson…there you go…the cat’s finally out of the basket…Well, the kids had taken some swimming lessons last year…Dinesh knows to swim too…but I have never actually stepped into a pool…well, in a way, I did, as I had to get in with Agastya for his lessons…but that does’nt count, does it…I mean, I was just holding him and guiding him in a learner’s pool…Since those lessons, the poor dears have hardly been able to take to the water…according to regulations, each kid needs to be accompanied by an adult swimmer…with only one adult swimmer in the family, we were , no doubt, short by one. So I decided to adorn my swim suit(which again had been lying since the kids’ lessons) and hit the water. My dear fried P agreed to lend a hand and we’ve been doing that for a few times now. I put the kids to bed and then head towards the pool with her. It’s really a nice experience…of course, I can’t say that I’m able to swim with perfect synchronisation yet, but I hope to get there soon…

Speaking of challenges, last year there was a different one, on land …learning to ride a bike… In India, riding a bike, especially on busy city roads, is very, very challenging, not to say how dangerous it is …what with all sorts of big and small vehicles honking at the rider from all sides. The closest to a bike that I’ve experienced is the tricycle, as a kid. By the summer of last year, the kids had become quite proficient at riding their bikes…which meant that I found it more and more difficult to keep up with them as they raced along the cycle paths…So the learning began…Dinesh showed me the basics and for a couple of weeks,early, every morning, I would be out in the cycle path near our house, teaching myself…I tripped, I slipped, endured the amused stares of the morning walkers…but then I rode…and I still ride, with much more confidence…in fact, I feel that it was the best thing to have happened to me for a while. Me and my bike have become soul mates… the kids and myself take our bikes also to their school.

In a way, I have to thank the kids for all this…if it was not for them, I would have probably missed out on some of the nice things in life…I don’t know what other challenges life has in store for me…till then I’m still learning…

Talking of kids, these rhubarb-oats squares are one of their favourites-especially Rengoni’s. It is a nice, healthy, and filling snack to kill the gaps between meals for ever hungry kids…or for that matter , grown ups as well.
Rhubarb is a vegetable with a unique taste that makes it a favorite in many pies and desserts. It originated in Asia over 2,000 years ago. It was initially cultivated for its medicinal qualities, it was not until the 18th century that rhubarb was grown for culinary purposes in Britain and America. Rhubarb is often commonly mistaken to be a fruit but rhubarb is actually a close relative of garden sorrel, and is therefore a member of the vegetable family. Rhubarb is rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Rhubarb stalks are commonly found in supermarkets, fresh rhubarb is prized by gourmet cooks.

What’s needed-

1 egg
1C wholemeal flour
1C porridge oats
1 tblsp olive or sunflower oil
1C of mixed dry fruits(I used raisins, chopped dates and cashewnuts)

For the sauce-

3 C of chopped rhubarb
3/4 C of water
3-4 tblsp of honey
3-4 drops of vanilla essence
a pinch of cinnamon powder

How to-

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer till the rhubarb softens and is a gooey mass. Do keep stirring constantly. This takes just a few minutes. Remove from fire and let it cool.

Beat the egg. Mix in the flour, oats and oil and add to the sauce. Add the dried fruits and mix well.

Spread the mixture evenly into a greased, and preferably square baking dish and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 deg cel till firm and set. It is done if a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Take out from the oven, cool and cut into squares. Cool completely before storing in air- tight containers. Remains fresh for at least 2-3 days…never lasts beyond that in our house…

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 bee May 11, 2007 at 2:12 pm

you go, gal. it’s never too old to learn anything. i love your recipe. it’s very low fat.


2 Asha May 11, 2007 at 2:37 pm

HeHe!! Me too! Learned lot of things with the kids!!Enjoy.Rubarb squares look delish.Thanks Sunita.Have a great Mother’s day.
Did you check my post at FH,you can see my kids!:)
Happy Mother’s day.


3 Richa May 11, 2007 at 2:54 pm

tricycle, really? glad u r cycling away now, it is so much fun & a good exercise at that :)
ur recipe sounds yummy & nutritious as well.
btw loved ur dotr’s name, Rengoni, it’s beautiful. does it mean full of colors?


4 musical May 11, 2007 at 3:53 pm

Ah! Sunita, you are quite like me (or were!)-i aso don’t know swimming! May be i’ll take the dip too someday ;) . Lovely recipe, looks so healthy and delightful. Enjoy your weekend :) .


5 sunita May 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Bee,I too believe the same and so does Dinesh…in fact, if I do tend to hesitate a little bit, he gives that extra nudge…try the recipe…


6 sunita May 11, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Asha,don’t know how much more I’ve got to learn…

btw, I did check out the pics at FH a couple of days ago…don’t you just wonder how time flies by…


7 sunita May 11, 2007 at 4:09 pm

Richa, I am cycling away to glory now…as for the meaning of Rengoni,it is ‘a ray of light’ in Assamese…


8 sunita May 11, 2007 at 4:11 pm

Musical,I still have some way to go…you too have a great weekend…


9 sunita May 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm

Asha, happy mother’s day to you as well…have a great weekend…


10 Trupti May 11, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Wonderful..both your recipe and you taking up swimming lessons…..Biking is also great isn’t it, I can’t wait till the kids are older and we can go with them…

this recipe is great, I do love rhubarb pie…now will try this! Happy Mother’s day to you..



11 sunita May 11, 2007 at 5:10 pm

Trupti…thanks…yes, biking is great…we’ve got nice paths nearby and now and then all four of us get out and about on our bikes…

Happy mother’s day to you too…have a great weekend…


12 Sandeepa May 11, 2007 at 5:10 pm

My case is almost like yours only I fail while you succeed :)
I too bought a bike last year in an attempt to learn to bike to train myself for “when the time comes”, but haven’t been much of a success yet :( I keep asking for training wheels :) :)


13 Latha May 11, 2007 at 5:38 pm

Hello Sunita! true true… i’m re-learning rhymes for my little one. And swimming is also on my list among many other to-do’s. but it’s wonderful to become a child ourselves with them, isn’t it?

and to the rhubarb squares… i’ve never cooked them before. so one basic question… do they need to be peeled or just chop and use?


14 Sharmi May 11, 2007 at 6:12 pm

hey never seen rhubarb before. is it a plant? and what is wholemeal flour?


15 sunita May 11, 2007 at 6:16 pm

Sandeepa,keep going and ‘when the time comes’,you’ll be ready for it…when i first started, even I thought I was going to need stabilisers, and that very agonising idea was enough to make me push harder…


16 sunita May 11, 2007 at 6:19 pm

Latha,you’ve just said is really nice to discover the child still hiding somewhere in us…

As for the rhubarb, I just chopped and used them, they cook very quickly…


17 sunita May 11, 2007 at 6:48 pm

Sharmi,it is a plant but only the stalks are used as the leaves are considered to be toxic…they are sold as you’ve seen in the picture…and if they do contain any leaves, they should be discarded at once and should not be used in any form, raw or cooked.It has a tartness in it’s taste…

As for wholemeal flour,it is slightly coarser than plain flour and is also slightly darker in colour…wholemeal consists of the whole of the product obtained from the milling of cleaned wheat whileplain white flour is made by cleaning out the coarser wheat particles like wheat germ, bran etc…I hope I’ve been able to explain…


18 sra May 12, 2007 at 8:28 am

I, too, should learn how to swim. The snacks look delicious!


19 Mishmash ! May 12, 2007 at 4:07 pm

Sunita, I have seen some rhubarb recipes recently but never got to taste it…sort of hesitant to try, dont know why :P



20 Sig May 12, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Sunita, great going girl… I completely gave up on swimming and water after I had a jet ski accident, kind of scared to go near the water now… :) , normal people would want to learn swimming after an accident like that, but I went the other way and trying to completely avoid the water.. Your post is very motivational though… may be I should take up swimming again… :)
The rhubarb squares look great, I’m not a big fan of rhubarb, just because of some bad dishes I had from restaurants… never tried to cook with it though!
Happy Mother’s day to you! Enjoy your weekend!


21 Cynthia May 13, 2007 at 1:55 am

Have I told you lately… how much I enjoy reading your posts? There is something in your writing, which of course is an expression of yourself that I connect with. It’s like a safe, homey, comfortable, friendly place to be. I really enjoy coming here.

I’m glad you’re doing the swimming and have the riding under your belt. I love your attitude to life.

I’ve never had rubarb. We don’t get it here, well at least not in Barbados.



22 Reena May 13, 2007 at 4:47 am

rubarb!! never cooked with it. looks good.

you go girl!! for swimming. never too late for it. btw i thought i am the only indian who never rode a bike :) )


23 sunita May 13, 2007 at 8:18 am

Sra,thanks,as for the swim,do give it a go…


24 sunita May 13, 2007 at 8:30 am

Shn, I was also hesitant at first…but when I started making these squares, Rengoni frequently asks for more of it, and I bribg it quite often now…it is good to use in various desserts as well…has a certain tartness, which mixed with sugar or other sweeteners,gives a nice taste.


25 sunita May 13, 2007 at 8:36 am

Sig,maybe you should give it another go…well, I think one might need a while to take in the taste of rhubarb…once you do, you’ll like it…I understand your point though…once bitten, twice shy…


26 sunita May 13, 2007 at 8:46 am

Cynthia, thanks for the wishes and the lovely words…I too enjoy having you over, quite look forward to it…


27 sunita May 13, 2007 at 9:03 am

Reena,thanks…and you’re right, never too late to try anything…


28 Sharmilee January 8, 2010 at 11:25 am

Lovely space u have…following you :)
Clicks are great!


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