A couple of weeks ago I spoke with a friend who lives in southern Missouri. Each and every phone call we have, our conversation includes our gardens -- our vegetable gardens to be exact. Whatever is happening in my friend's garden 500 miles south, will also happen in my own garden -- a month later. That is, however, unless it's 2012... the year of weirdness.
How weird you ask? Well, we have never eaten dinner on our patio in March. On March 14th of this year, we officially opened the patio and dined comfortably in 70+ degrees. That was until we were forced to return indoors because of... mosquitoes! I have never seen a mosquito in March. Remember, I live in Minnesota. A normal winter usually knocks them out until June.
My friend in Missouri mentioned that her asparagus was almost ready for picking. I told her how I've tried several times to plant asparagus in my garden, but it always dies off. She said she has the same trouble with rhubarb. Hard for me to believe. Rhubarb is the weed in my garden. My plants are enormous. They multiply. I end up giving bagfuls of rhubarb away to friends. I NEVER make a rhubarb tart until mid-May because my plants aren't large enough to use before then. That is, unless it's spring 2012...
See what I mean? I have eight plants this size. I am scrambling this year to use it up -- quickly. It's already going to seed!
And, you understand, I can't eat a rhubarb tart every day, so I've been making rhubarb syrup... so, so EASY! And with the rhubarb syrup -- gin and rhubarb cocktails.
A refreshing little drink for those lazy, summer days just around the corner. Invite a friend, relax, and enjoy the day! I did.
recipe by Kelly Carámbula | eat make read
• 2 cups sliced rhubarb
• 1 cup water
• 1 cup sugar
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until the rhubarb has broken down. Remove from heat and let cool; strain. Store in a jar in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Gin & Rhubarb Cocktail
:: The recipe below will make one cocktail.
• 1 ounce rhubarb syrup
• 1/2 ounce lime juice
• 1 1/2 ounces gin
• 1 ounce seltzer -- plus additional seltzer, optional
• lime slices, for garnish
1. Combine rhubarb syrup, lime juice, and gin in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. (I usually am making more than one cocktail at a time and multiply the ingredients in a pitcher, add ice, and stir). Shake for 10 seconds and strain into a glass. Top with the selzer water (I dilute mine with additional seltzer). Serve with lime slice.
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