June 24, 2013

Bear Essentials: Rhubarb
( + Rhubarb Sorbet )

Sometimes I like to play a game where I give weird food to Mr. Bear just to see what his reaction will be.  I don't think this makes me an entirely horrible person, because he usually gets to eat dessert at the end of the game.  I'm pretty sure that if you get dessert, you can't claim it's torture.

The trick is choosing the right food, because I'm going to have to eat it too.  Squid eyeballs are out.  So is brain.  But rhubarb...rhubarb is perfect.  I bring home what (for all intents and purposes) appears to be red celery.  Then I make sorbet out of it.  And then I shove a spoonful toward my dubious husband.

"It looks like strawberry," he grimaces.  "But I know it's going to taste like celery.  You're feeding me celery ice cream."    

And the most beautiful thing about Mr. Bear is that he eats it anyway. That's love, folks.  

P.S. - It doesn't taste like celery.  It tastes like awesome.  Mr. Bear will vouch for that.

Rhubarb is actually sour.  In a fruity, lemony way.  And while it's usually paired with strawberries, I've spent the last two months devouring it on its own and in new, unusual pairings that have proven to me how versatile it really is.  This week, I'm going to share some of my favorite discoveries with you.

I know it's a little late in the season for rhubarb, but my grocery store is still stocking it, so you might be in luck.  Check it out.  If not, file these recipes away under "next spring."  You won't be disappointed.

Rhubarb Sorbet
from Bon Appetit
If you want a true idea of what rhubarb tastes like, you can't do any better than this sorbet, which is basically just rhubarb, sugar, and a little corn syrup to keep it from getting icy.  The fruity tartness of rhubarb makes this incredibly refreshing - even more so than lemon (in my opinion) because it isn't quite as puckery.

Sugar  [ 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons ]
Water  [ 1 cup ]
Lemon Juice  [ 3 tablespoons ]
Rhubarb  [ 1 pound, cut into 1-inch pieces ]
Light Corn Syrup  [ 2 tablespoons ]

1.   In a heavy, large pot, mix Sugar, Water, and Lemon Juice.
2.   Turn heat to Low and stir until Sugar dissolves.
3.   Raise heat and bring to a boil.
4.   Add Rhubarb.
5.   Simmer until Rhubarb is softened [ about 10 minutes ]
6.   Carefully pour Mixture into food processor; process until smooth.
7.   Add Corn Syrup and stir to mix.
8.   Refrigerate until complete chilled.
9.   Freeze in an ice cream maker.
10.   Transfer to a container and place in freezer if you like a firmer texture.  

Makes about 1 quart.

This time last year on Being a Bear:
Sourwood Honey Salted Caramels

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