Janet Holden Adams’ Rhubarb Stew

This recipe has some local, historical significance because it originally came from Janet Holden Adams, a well-known local woman, who passed away a few years ago.  Janet was known for being intelligent, quirky, eccentric and an avid and enthusiastic gardener.  Not only did she grow her own rhubarb she helped countless local people with their gardens as well.  Many a garden in and around Pine Plains still contain her plantings.  Here’s a bit of interesting history about Janet Adams’ recipe from Pine Plains historian, Rosemary Lyons-Chase who gave us this recipe:

“Janet Holden Adams, a Pine Plains landmark in trees and gardens, was also considered a treasure in local foods. She was famous for her Stissing Mountain peaches! Not only did she plant oaks, sycamores and peach trees, but she shared her yard with the annual Pine Plains Garden Club’s plant sale… Her rhubarb stew is one to celebrate. Try it! Some diners declare it superior to rhubarb pie.”


  • 4 cups rhubarb *
  • 3/4 cup organic lemon sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/8 cup water


1.    Wash and trim the rhubarb, peeling it if is tough.  Cut into one inch pieces.
2.   Put in a saucepan (stainless steel…no other metal).   Add the sugar, lemon slices and water.  Cover and cook gently for about 12 minutes, or more if necessary.

*IMPORTANT:  If you pick rhubarb from the garden trim the leaves from the stalk and discard them immediately.  They are poisonous if ingested.

For more information about Rhubarb check out this very good website: www.rhubarbinfo.com/