Rhubarb chutney, rhubarb liqueur, rhubarb cheesecake, rhubarb slushies and more — all of these and more have appeared in the annual Raptor Ridge Rhubarb Competition and Tea. The competition is returning on Sunday, June 23.
Hosted by Leah Seabrook and Brenda Gardiner, the annual event serves as a fundraiser for Better at Home. Better at Home helps seniors with things like cleaning, snow removal, and other day-to-day tasks which allow them to live independently for as long as possible.
The rhubarb competition celebrates all things rhubarb and accepts entries in four different categories: cookies/muffins/bars/tarts (finger foods), pies and desserts, relishes and condiments, and odd and extravagant.
The competition will have five judges, and the judges will not know who made what. Gardiner says they will judge based on things like taste, presentation and how unique the dish is, among other criteria.
“It’s just anything that you can think of that has rhubarb in it,” says Gardiner. Participating in the contest costs $10 per entry. The full fee goes to Better at Home.
Members of the public are also welcome to come and to dine on the rhubarb-inspired dishes following the event.
Prizes are often rhubarb-inspired — including a bottle of rhubarb wine and rhubarb stepping stones in last year’s competition.
The competition is held in Seabrook’s garden, which Gardiner calls “absolutely gorgeous.” She says the event tends to feel more like a garden tea party than just a contest.
Gardiner and Seabrook came up with the idea for the event together about four years ago. Both of them felt that rhubarb didn’t get enough credit, and they wanted to find a way to celebrate the vegetable.
Seabrook has a rhubarb patch in her garden, and anyone having difficulties accessing rhubarb for their entry is welcome to call her at 250-249-5577 to pick some.