Hello and goodbye third week of July, taking on a trail that could rival The Speed Force and one I am not too unhappy to see leave. It's seasonal dysfunctionalism, you see. Here I am, with not more than a half-shelf's worth of week's leftovers, less than 10 words on this update which needs to be out yesterday, and the splitting midmorning headache that wants me to crawl into the icebox, right next to the leftovers.
Lazy is a such a negative word, although many of you who pop in for a view and note my repeated absences will brand me as such. Though, my selective participation, as I like to call it, helps me decipher where and when to partake in many dispensable, indispensable, semidispensable activities. Such as brushing my hair, feeding people/myself/lone animal living under common roof, shooing away the variety of wildlife that have made my backyard their home/(surprise!) bathroom and, of course, updating an inspirational cooking journal. You may disagree on the last part, though I sincerely hope not.
Still, as much as I am in the dregs of Exhausting Inferno, I want to share with you at least one of the menu items that rotate regularly in 16 ounce tumblers on my table, mainly because there is often produce overflow of main ingredient, this time of year, but more the fact it keeps sanity intact. These would be for days( too many to count) of climatic lethargy, when the brain is too fried to even consider daily nourishment, much less how to keep afloat when surroundings, situations, lack of dessert ideas clearly try to drown my very soul. So, when I reach for the 4 pound bag of lemons in the produce bin, know that I am on a mission, to hydrate my people and restore personal wellbeing. We all have a calling. Right?
A batch of lemonade is sustenance I believe, especially when you live in a furnace most of the year and have made so much that you devise clever ways to make it an essential(ahem)dietary requirement for the two underlings you house. That's when your tall glass of liquid citrus will contain either one or several of the following options: bites of peach, mango, blueberry, strawberries, multiberries and the number that accompanied my now famous pudina sandwiches...options which have your drink be as appealing as magic markers.
The idea for rhubarb (yes rhubarb!!) saturated lemonade comes from this recent FOOD52 article. The gorgeously shiny vegetable that has the unique distinction of being declared fruit as well lends a surprising dimension to what might have been mere meh refreshment. There is a rustic quality about rhubarb, the ridges which line it's pearly stalks, the purity in it's tartness. Pieces cooked and blended into freshly crushed lemons make it fashionably coral and brilliantly addictive; a sip as bright and clean as the first morning sun. And poetry in a glass.
Finally, if you desire a less homogeneous look, layer the strained rhubarb mix on top of the yellow lemon one, when serving. It just might be that level of cool that boosts your status to Master of Amplified Drinkmaking.
When life gives you lemons, it's ok to dream big.
(Lightly adapted from FOOD52's sparkling rhubarb lemonade)
- 2 long-ish stalks rhubarb, cut into half inch pieces
- 1 cup water
- 6- 8 lemons, quartered, piths removed, and as many seeds if possible
- 1 lime, halved
- 1 1/2- 2 cups water
- 1 cup ice
- 3/4 cup sugar(more if needed)
- 2 sprigs mint
- Put the rhubarb in 1 cup water(enough to just cover pieces) and bring to a boil. Simmer until pieces break down and become soft and cooked. Cool
- In a blender put the quartered lemons, lime (peel and all) with the cooled rhubarb mixture and half cup water. Blend on a low setting for just under a minute, allowing blades to crush the citrus. Do not blend longer, blades will grind any remaining seeds, and mixture will become bitter.
- Strain this into another container, large pitcher, clear of any sediment.
- Clean out blender jar and pour the strained juice mixture along with remaining water, sugar, ice and one sprig mint.
- Blend until sugar dissolves. Add more water/sugar/ice if needed.
- Pour into glasses.
- Garnish with additional mint.
I never remove pith or seeds of the citrus. Just have blades whir a few times, on low setting and strain the liquid before I blend with the remaining ingredients.
Tongue cooler. It looks good and sits well with a spice rubbed porkrib dinner.
******Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance.