When life gives you rhubarb

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I love watching the garden progress from the kitchen window, and start to get pretty antsy around March, waiting for that moment when the blades of iris start to come through. The rhubarb patch can be seen coming to life when there is still ice on the other beds and it is always the first crop ready to harvest. I’m thrilled to have four healthy happy rhubarb plants on the go, but one can only handle so much stewed rhubarb in ones yoghurt before tiring of it and wondering what to do with the surplus.

I did a lot of reading this winter on the art of country wine making. It was inspiring to read about the variety of wines made from foraged flowers, roots, bark, and even leaves, but most exciting to me are the wines that can be made from the fruits of my own garden. There is something about taking the product of your own land, adding a bit of sugar and yeast, and waiting patiently until that becomes a palatable wine.

I went with a super simple recipe of rhubarb, sugar and yeast. I’m going to stick it in the basement to ferment for three months, rack the wine off of the solids, and age it for another six months before bottling it. We’ll probably have a couple of sneaky bottles at Christmas but save the balance until the early spring, when we’ll be ready for a taste of summer garden, no doubt.

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