Monday, June 9, 2008

Rhubarb and Seas of Strawberries

A few weeks ago, when the rhubarb had just come into the market in the city I bought some of those bitter, biting stalks and packed them in my bag to go to Amherst, MA for Memorial Day weekend. I offered the still-sandy rhubarb to my hosts as a gift, and effectively we got to do a little cooking together. What exactly do you do with rhubarb? How much sugar do you need to add to take the bite out? I would have just gone in head first, adding and tasting until my tongue was raw from all that tartness. My hostess, Sally, is (luckily) so much more practical and found a recipe.

1 1/4 lbs. rhubarb
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
2 tbs. Grand Marnier

Wash and chop up the rhubarb, throw it in a pot, and add the water. Stir until the mixture has come to a boil. Add sugar and stir constantly until the rhubarb has mostly disintigrated. Remove from heat and add grand marnier. Chill and serve over vanilla ice cream.

It was, of course, as simple as it sounds, and even more delicious. When the dinner guests asked where on earth the rhubarb had come from (it was not nearly in season yet in Western Mass.) I smiled and said I picked it from the city.

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