One more new thing in Portland since I went away: strawberries! But there's also still rhubarb. Sadly, I'm not a fan of strawberry/rhubarb desserts, mainly because I dislike cooked (read: slimy) strawberries. Perhaps I'll have to see how they do with the raw rhubarb compote?
In the meantime, I'm eating all the strawberries I can get my hands on, but still hanging on to rhubarb. A good friend dropped off a 4-pack of Fever Tree tonic water and a bottle of Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters last week. Coincidentally I'd recently read about a very tempting rhubarb cocktail, over on Culinaria Eugenius.
I even remembered to pick up a single rhubarb stalk at the store. For once the checker didn't ask me if I was making a rhubarb pie. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed. I thought she'd ask something. I was ready to tell her I was baking a slice of pie. A small slice. How often does someone buy a single stalk of rhubarb?
The drinks are quite refreshing. Fever Tree tonic is much less sweet than the type you generally pick up at the liquor store. Together with the gin and muddled rhubarb it makes a crisp drink, with a pleasant herbal taste. And it's pretty, as long as you use a red piece of rhubarb--the less colored the rhubarb, the clearer the drink.
RHUBARB GIN AND TONIC
adapted from Culinaria Eugenius
Put 1 jigger of gin into a highball or old-fashioned glass
Add 1 piece rhubarb, about 1-1/2 to 2 inches. Muddle.
Add ice, a couple shakes of rhubarb bitters, and fill to the brim with tonic water. Garnish with a lemon wedge.