a magical root

To be honest, I was a little surprised when I read that rhubarb could be used for dyeing. We inherited a big, old patch of it and while I've always cooked and eaten the stems the rest of it seemed, well, a bit uninteresting. Clearly I was wrong!

The internet tells me that no mordant is needed, as the rhubarb leaves themselves act as mordant, so I tonight I made a dyebath of leaves and chopped root. It's toxic, but smells delicious.

I took the opportunity to completely plunder the poor plants and stewed up all the stems with ginger and a little sugar.

Rhubarb is such a hard worker. These plants are definitely elderly and could really do with an overhaul, but for now they continue to shoot up and up and up...

The details:

first picking of stems and leaves, 10 May 2016
1kg of root (washed and chopped), 900g into the freezer
big bag of leaves into the freezer

dyebath: 100g fresh root, 120g fresh leaves, water to cover, simmer for 1 hour and left to cool overnight