I love a love-hate relationship with rhubarb. A part of me feels like I should adore it as much as rest of America, but the part of me is afraid of the red celery like vegetable. It is a vegetable, right? My great grandmother and grandmother use to cook with it. I am not sure what they made. Probably jams. I was so unsure of this mystery veggie that I probably didn’t eat it. I mean, why would someone put celery into their jams.
The past few years when it hits the markets, I bring a few stalks home and play with it. I baked into berry heavy desserts and have used it in savory chutneys for grilled meats. I don’t hate it now. As well I am not afraid of it. I actually like the tartness it adds to my dishes. Maybe I am becoming quit fond of it.
A couple weeks ago, sweet Maggie, came to stay for a special night. All she wanted for her 6th birthday was to have a sleep over at our house. She was intrigued as to what it would be like to stay in Oakland. Since it was her special time, she was the one to plan everything for the evening. She wanted chili for dinner, pizookies for dessert and chocolate croissants for breakfast (served in bed). She wanted to paint our nails, watch movies, girl talk, explore the neighborhood and snuggle (my favorite part). It was wonderful; but, too short.
I decided to surprise her with something special to drink during dinner. Since we are not into soda and we don’t think it is healthy for little ones. I decided to make a fruit heavy simple syrup using fresh raspberries and rhubarb. I used unrefined raw sugar to make it slightly sweet. And some Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup to add some spice.
Now, I knew I was going out on a limb, as Maggie could hate the thought of this being a “soda”. When the time came, we pulled Sam out of his hiding spot, made some bubbly water and started with our soda making adventure. She delights in making Sam squeal while making bubbles and giggles the entire time. We filled mason jars with ice, drizzled in our soda base and splashed bubbly water over the top. A couple quick stirs and our sodas were finished. I was watching with anticipation to see what her reaction would be. One sip. Two sips. Three sips. A big smile came across her face and she thanked me with a hug for making such a special drink.
So, next time, you want to make a special “soda” for your little ones or even for yourself, take the time to make this lovely syrup and pour a few bubbles over the top. Smiles will come across each of your faces.
Recipe: Rhubarb Raspberry Simple Syrup
- 2/3 cup unrefined raw sugar
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1 pint raspberries
- 3 small stalks rhubarb
- 3 tablespoons Morris Kitchen Ginger Syrup
- Cut the rhubarb into small chunks.
- Add the sugar, water raspberries and rhubarb into a medium saucepan.
- Over medium-low heat cook the mixture until the sugar dissolves and the rhubarb breaks down.
- I stir every so often to help the process along. It will take about 15 – 20 minutes.
- Using a potato masher, gently mash the mixture.
- Remove from the heat.
- Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.
- Place a sieve over a large bowl and gently work the mixture through.
- Pour the mixture into a jar or bottle, add the ginger syrup, and shake.
- Store in the refrigerator up to a week; if it lasts that long.
Recipe: Homemade Rhubarb Raspberry Soda
- rhubarb raspberry simple syrup
- 6 ounces bubbly water
- Fill a small glass (8 ounces) with some ice.
- Drizzle 2 ounces of rhubarb raspberry simple syrup over the top.
- Top with 6 ounces of bubbly water.