Our salute to Spring!

“O Rhubarb! My Rhubarb! Rise up and hear the bells.”

I have been yodeling this around the around the shop these days. Walt Whitman of course did not intend for his poetry to be compared to the long awaited arrival of Spring field rhubarb, alas it is here. The Tempestuous Spring weather may drive our stalks right back into the ground retreating back to the black rhizome under the earth, this happened two years ago when the freeze came late and strong in April. Every pastry chef in Portland was deflated and sad due to the dramatic retreat of the pink stalks. The apples and pears of Winter have run their course, the dried fruits have become too rich and tiresome, citrus and nuts never get old, but we bakers need inspiration, and Oregon strawberries are far from being ripe. Rhubarb the herald of Spring is here! Rhubarb loves sugar, vanilla, grapefruit, coconut, ricotta cheese, and so much more. I have included a rhubarb cocktail recipe developed by Gillian (bartender diva) here at WCP, ENJOY! Come in and get your cocktails on until 9pm now at WCP.

 

SAUVIE ISLAND SUNSET

2    oz     tequila

2    oz     rhubarb shrub (recipe follows)

1/2 oz     agave syrup

lemon juice to taste

method: shake or stir ingredients together vigorously, strain into 12 oz. rocks glass over ice. Garnish with lemon slice.

Rhubarb Shrub: yield 1 pint.

3    Cups rhubarb

1/2 Cup champagne vinegar

3/4 Cup sugar

1/8 tsp salt

place all ingredients in sauce pan and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until rhubarb gives up shape, about 15 minutes. Strain the thick fruit into mason jar. Refrigerate until cool. Can be held in fridge for 1 month. PS. this Shrub is really good with just ice and fizzy water for a nice refreshing beverage.