This past week in My Kitchen Witch Alphabet, I wrote about protecting Gaia’s bounty and part of that is making sure that things are used before they go bad. Composting is another way of keeping the community earth healthy; a place for food past its best but once something has been picked or purchased, it is still a good idea to use it up. It is also great to open a cupboard or fridge door and pull something out that will do the trick without having to make that extra trip to the store.
So with that in mind and coming to the end of the rhubarb season when the stalks get stringy and dry, I brewed up a small batch of syrup for this weekend. It is supposed to be HOT!
You will need:
Just over a pound of rhubarb
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. lemon zest
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup lemon juice
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Slow breaths in and out. “In my Kitchen filled with care, I welcome Earth, Fire, Water, Air“. Begin.
Wash the rhubarb, top and tail any dry bits at either end and cut into sections about an inch and a half long long. Some stalks may be dry and therefore very light in weight. That is okay, keep chopping. These are not the fresh tender stalks of early spring that you are going to poach and layer onto individual cheesecakes. These are the over ripe end of season stalks that can be not so nice and that is okay as we want the flavour for this recipe. When you are finished preparing the rhubarb, there should be about 500 grams of product, otherwise known as one pound plus 10%.
In a pot, add the rhubarb, sugar, lemon zest and water. Make sure your pot is large enough to stir in the beginning. The rhubarb will reduce in volume as it softens but it is easier if you don’t do what I did.
Allow the liquids to come to a boil. Put the lid on, reduce the heat to a light simmer and cook until the stalks are tender and starting to come apart, 7 – 12 minutes.
Take the pot off the the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir well and strain the entire mixture. Pressing the rhubarb will make the syrup cloudy but give you all the flavour. Letting it sit and drip by itself will give you a clearer finished product and less volume of syrup.
Store in the fridge. To serve, use a 1 to 3 ratio of syrup to water to begin with and adjust to taste. Pour over ice and enjoy. You can also substitute soda, or include some gin or vodka in the mix. If you like making cocktails, substitute this flavoured simple syrup in a recipe that appeals to you and see what wonderful change of pace you come up with.
I also filled up some popsicle molds and tucked them in the freezer. My suggestion is that you add a little less water when making popsicles but as always, it is about personal taste.
It is easier to enjoy the heat when you have tasty things to help cool you down. Make some time to get out and enjoy Mother Nature.
Rhubarb Lemonade Syrup (the other pink lemonade) from My Kitchen Wand.