Ruby Shoes-Day: “there’s no place like home”

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There comes a time when you need take stock stalk of a situation. Literally.

In a sense, the robust rhubarb sums up my situation in life at the moment quite nicely. It’s sweet, sour, sturdy and in my humble opinion – adaptable. And so it offers a pretty decent example of how to make it within the confines of Ontario; from urban jungle to the Northern wilderness.

Anything but cloyingly sweet, this vegetable has got character. It’s especially fantastic this time of year as it provides our bodies with a hefty boost of Vitamin C and K – perfect for high-fiving our immune systems and fending off the super pollen propagated by the influx of high heat early on in the spring. Great things come from a solid foundation; rhubarb is brimming with calcium for our hardworking bones.

This fancy pants syrup is an homage to my dear mother who recently paid me a visit to commemorate my University graduation.  Moments before packing up the ole’ suitcase for the airport she collected a hefty bunch of some of the deepest ruby-red rhubarb I’ve ever seen. As I try to find my way through this murky mid-twenties I find near immeasurable comfort in the stain of rhubarb on my fingers.

Until my own fledgling rhubarb plant strengthens its roots and rises for the sky, I will gladly find new ways to live out the lessons from years past and craft a bit of wonderful from my childhood backyard bounty.

Rhubarb – Strawberry Lime Syrup

Two cups of backyard rhubarb

One cup of local field strawberries

One lime, juiced, then zest or throw into the pot

A conservative squish of agave or other sweetener of your choice

Chop your fruit into relatively small pieces of equal size. Throw the rhubarb and strawberries into a decent sized saucepan on medium-low heat. This is going to take a bit of time, so grab a book or the newspaper for the ride. Once things are looking saucy, toss in that luscious lime. Depending on your stove top you will reach a sauce like consistency in one and a half to two hours. 

Gather a medium-sized sieve or cheesecloth (coffee filter, even) work the fruit sauce with a spoon until every drop of pink juice is squeezed. Toss into a glass mason jar and chill in the fridge. 

Prepare a tall glass of ice a hefty splash of syrup and toss in the sparkling water of your choice. Hello homemade Italian style soda! Bellissima!

After creating this syrup days earlier,  I was thrilled by Joy the Baker’s post to slosh in some vanilla almond milk. Once this frosty creation hit my lips, my heart got lighter and my outlook of the day seemed brighter! Think healthy strawberry-rhubarb piece of pie, painted with ice cream…

In this heat, a lady has to stay hydrated to keep her head on straight.

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