While I was partaking of my first iced coffee of the season at my friend's cozy shop, a woman came in with a basket of rhubarb. Grown in a spot perfect for catching sunlight, her rhubarb was already rapidly producing, and she had come to share her first harvest. (My own plant is still in its alien stage, pushing creepy, red pod-like growths out of the earth.) My friend and I looked at each other and started gleefully listing the things we might do with the fruit (which is truly a vegetable) and after discussing my mother's rhubarb muffin recipe and assorted compotes and sauces, our minds turned to alcohol (as they do).
Rhubarb lore ~ serving a piece of rhubarb pie to your love will ensure their fidelity.
As we had already arranged a gathering of the wild ones last night, and our farmer friend was bringing samples of last autumn's corn for us to taste and vote on the best variety, we thought the beverage of the evening should be something that celebrates spring and contributed to the theme of locally grown ingredients. It was obvious that we should make rhubarb whiskey sours.
They turned out divinely. They were sweet and tart, and perfect in every way. I believe it should be the drink of the season. Even my friends who do not partake of whiskey, swooned over this libation.
Rhubarb lore ~ hanging rhubarb leaves over your grape or cucumber vines will repel insects that might damage your crop.
Jen's note: I'm not sure how well this would work, being that my rhubarb leaves get mercilessly chewed by grasshoppers, but I imagine that worms and other pests with less hearty appetites could not stomach the poisonous leaves (they contain oxalic acid which is corrosive and can cause kidney damage).
Rhubarb Whiskey Sour