I went to the farmer's market on Saturday with plans of picking up a few plants and all the ingredients for an impromptu lunch in the back yard. What did I come home with? A mulberry tree, thyme plant, some rhubarb and adjusted expectations of the season! Other than that rhubarb there wasn't much in the market yet. Lots of plants, free range eggs and a few onion stored from last fall. Hmm... and then it started to snow. As much as it's felt like summer lately with temperatures in the mid 20s (that's the mid 70s for those south of here), the market and then the weather was letting me know I was getting ahead of myself! But local rhubarb is still a reason to celebrate and I've been baking, jamming, and putting up jars of rhubarb syrup for the hot summer days ahead.
4 cups chopped rhubarb
1 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Combine all the ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the rhubarb has broken down, about 15 minutes. Strain then cool. Refrigerate and use within a month. If you'd like the syrup to last longer, freeze it or pour it into clean jam jars then process the jars of syrup in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. I'd still suggest keeping processed jars in the fridge due to the low sugar content of the syrup. Yields about 1 1/4 cups syrup.
For a rhubarb soda pour a can club soda or seltzer into a large glass. Slowly pour in 1/3 cup of rhubarb syrup.
Don't throw out the rhubarb pulp! It may not look pretty but is delicious with yogurt.