Marion Owen Alaska

Libby’s Story: Fighting Cancer with Food (and a sweet recipe for moose nuggets)

When Libby McClaren was diagnosed with cancer, the doctor recommended immediate surgery to remove the tumor from her bladder, followed by chemo and radiation treatments. Libby doesn’t recall how she reacted but she needed quiet time.

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Happy New Year from an Island in the North Pacific

In the winter of 1984, I delivered my personal belongings to a Seattle shipping company and then drove to SeaTac airport to catch a flight to Kodiak, Alaska, a large, kidney-shaped

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Merry Christmas from Kodiak Island, Alaska

Wishing you and your loved ones a Christmas filled with joy and light,Signature-black

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Let it snow, please. How about that winter 2015-2016 forecast, anyway?

Every morning at 6 AM, our public radio station wakes us up with Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. If you haven’t heard the podcast narrated by Keillor, it’s a wonderful, 2 to 3-minute, “this day in history” snapshot, followed by

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How Black Friday contributes to global warming, violence

A recent snowfall found me in a nostalgic mood, so I sat down to watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the animated story narrated by Burl Ives as Sam the singing snowman. While tapping my foot to

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My garden, my teacher.

My humblest inspirations seem to occur in the autumn when I’m putting the garden to bed.
It’s fall and the garden says, “I am growing old.” The potato vines are limp and the tubers huddle underground in their rough, weather-proof skins, waiting to be dug. Is there any greater treasure hunt than digging for

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Summer eagles of Kodiak: A feathered photo essay

Eagles around Kodiak are plentiful as crows during the winter. Perched shoulder-to-shoulder with their fellow raptors, they haggle over fish scraps, those leftover bits that fall below seafood processor radars.

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This fudge cake recipe disguises three veggies

Okay, this photo of cake batter might look scary and unappetizing, but trust me, the finished product makes the best fudge cake that’s ever tiptoed across your tastebuds.

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Get in the pink with rhubarb pickles

Just when you think you’ve tried all the rhubarb recipes on the planet, then comes…
Rhubarb pickles
It’s a blast to play with new recipes. Oh, sure, you can find rhubarb pickle recipes on the web, but I found most of them to be impractical, with silly ingredients and silly instructions. My motto is to keep it simple, tasty, healthy and quick, which I tried to accomplish in my last recipe, First Rhubarb: My excuse to dream up a new recipe where I make rhubarb muffins, starting with a homemade, multi-purpose, whole wheat muffin mix.

Rhubarb pickles
There’s life beyond rhubarb pie. (Marion Owen photo)

Back to the pickles > We put up many quart jars of rhubarb pickles and serve them on our Galley Gourmet dinner cruises in Kodiak, Alaska. We top salads and bake fresh salmon stuffed with the sweet and sour chunks. Guests are pretty surprised at the idea of eating pickled “pie fruit.”
Either way you serve ’em, rhubarb pickles are not only rosy-pink beautiful, they’re inspiring, prodding you to try new things. Once you get your creative [pickled] juices flowing, you’ll discover all kinds of ways to add them to dishes. They’re a pickle lover’s pickle, and you can re-use the liquid, too.
Here’s the recipe. Please share, experiment, and let me know what you think. I bet they’d be great sliced thin and packed on a hamburger! (Any takers?)

Rhubarb Pickles

2 cups vinegar (cider or white)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons pickling spices
1 piece (1-1/2 inch) fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
Peel from 1 orange
3 cups fresh rhubarb, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
In a non-aluminum medium saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, pickling spices. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Slice orange peel into strips and add with ginger to the pan. Cool liquid cool to room temp. Spoon rhubarb into glass jar(s). Ladle in the cooled brine mixture. Cover and refrigerate pickles for one week before eating. They will keep refrigerated for several months.

How to eat a rhubarb pickle

Let the fun begin! You can add dices and slivers to coleslaws, fruit salads and tossed greens; soups, stews and tuna salad. Slice them up for sandwiches and decorate your favorite chicken and seafood dishes (pack a salmon with sliced pickles before baking or grilling). When all the pickled bits are gone, use the leftover vinegar for an awesome salad dressing base.
Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy!

Kodiak, Alaska garden
The Alaska Marine Highway’s ocean-going ferry, the Tustumena passes by our garden in early June–rhubarb harvest time.
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