Thursday, May 10, 2012

Two Strawberry-Rhubarb Non-Recipes

Here are couple of ideas for using the strawberries and rhubarb that may be in season in your garden right now (they are in ours).  They aren't really recipes, since I didn't bother to measure anything.  Basically, combine the fruit and/or juices, then sweeten to your taste.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Syrup

Wash and chop some fresh rhubarb and fresh strawberries and toss them into a pan.  Add about 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup sugar.  Bring mixture to a boil, then cook over medium heat until the berries and rhubarb start to break down.  Being careful not to burn your tongue, taste the mixture and add sugar as necessary.  It will probably take quite a lot.  You can use white sugar, cane juice crystals, Sucanat -- whatever you like.  Continue to cook until mixture thickens slightly.  Pour into canning jars and screw down lids.  Syrup can be used in smoothies, in lemonade or cocktails, on top of ice cream or other desserts, on pancakes or waffles, as a thin spread on biscuits or toast, or just licked off a spoon.  Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or until gone, which will probably be in about two days.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Lemonade

In a 2-quart pitcher, combine about a cup of fresh lemon juice with about a half-cup of strawberry-rhubarb syrup.  Add about 3 cups of water or as much as needed to dilute the lemon-juice to your liking.  Stir in simple syrup until it is as sweet as you like it.  No simple syrup?  Try this recipe with the sugar of your choice.  IMO, it's the only way to sweeten lemonade easily.  If the syrup is too chunky from the strawberries or stringy from the rhubarb, run it all through the blender for a minute, with or without a shot of something boozy added.  Pour over ice and enjoy!
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