Rhubarb compote: 37 cents/cup

When I was a kid, my parents used to buy a lot of those wonderfully convenient little cups of Yoplait yogurt. (Of course, these days I would NEVER buy a 60-cent container of pre-sweetened, artificially flavored yogurt, but you’re all welcome to come back and laugh at me once I have kids.) My absolute favorite flavor of all time was strawberry rhubarb, and although Yoplait doesn’t appear to be making it anymore, I admit that part of my motivation in planting rhubarb once we got a garden was to be able to make my own version. We had our first rhubarb harvest in late spring, before we had strawberries, so my first attempt at re-creating the yogurt was rhubarb-only. It was still delicious, but it just wasn’t the same. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest has a second rhubarb harvest, in June, right at strawberry time, so you can imagine what I’ve been eating for breakfast this week. Anyway, this recipe is for the rhubarb component only, because it’s not only great by itself in yogurt if you don’t have strawberries, but it’s delicious on ice cream, biscuits, oatmeal…you get the idea.

Full disclosure: I did not make my own yogurt. I bought a large tub of store-brand nonfat plain yogurt, the cheapest I could find. I’ve never before made my own yogurt (I know it’s easy, you can make it in the slow-cooker, etc., etc., I just didn’t have time to experiment this week), and I’m not sure how to make it nonfat, so there you have it. Still cheaper than Yoplait, at least.

Anyway, on to the compote, which simply gets stirred into the yogurt with some sugared sliced strawberries:

• 2 cups sliced rhubarb stalks (make sure you throw away the leaves; they’re poisonous) (also, if you’re harvesting your own rhubarb, it’s best to gently pull the stalks out as you see above, not cut them; cutting can introduce disease): $0
• 3/4 cup sugar: 17 cents
• 1 T lemon juice: 20 cents
TOTAL: 37 cents

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar dissolves, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until thickened and falling apart, about 7-10 minutes. Cool and keep in the fridge. It makes about a cup.

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