The other evening when I was out with my dog just after sunset, in the gloaming – that time after dusk but before the full, velveteen darkness of night has descended – I watched a field of fireflies lighting up like fairy lights twinkling across the land.
This is late spring in Ontario. Not quite summer yet. The weather is erratic. Alternately warm, hot, cold, dry, wet, windy, still. Everything has burst into life. The trees are now in full leaf and the greens are intense, vibrant. The sky is vivid blue. The ponds and creeks are full of frog noises. The birds are endlessly busy. One afternoon last week, I came across a family of chickadee fledglings on the ground virtually motionless – not yet able to fly – no parents in sight. Worried that they’d die or be eaten by a cat, I came back twice more. The second time they were taking their first tentative, four-inch, hopping flights across the grass. The last time I came back, they’d vanished, learned to fly in one day and flown to safety before nightfall. Nature is full of miracles.
My new garden too, is bursting forth. I’ve planted tomatoes, arugula, rhubarb, lettuce, zucchini and lots of herbs; basil, chives, lavender, mint, and thyme. I particularly love the perennial and self-seeding things that just keep giving. Next, I’ll plant asparagus and flowers for the bees.
In the meantime, I’m loving having fresh rhubarb. This week I made a small batch of a simple rhubarb sorbet. It’s tart and fresh tasting and you can easily make this without an ice cream maker. I don’t have one and since I don’t have room to store one, I have no plans in my future for anything more in my kitchen, except of course, for good food.
Eat the sorbet by itself, or serve it with fresh berries, or fresh mint, or on a dense dark chocolate cake – like this easy, flourless, dark chocolate torte. Best to make this with young, fresh, red rhubarb because the young tender red stalks will give you the best colour. Throw a few berries into the mix if your rhubarb is more green than red. Enjoy…
- 2 and 1/2 cups of washed, trimmed, and cut young red rhubarb
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup water
- handful of strawberries or mixed blueberries, strawberries, raspberries (optional)
Bring all the ingredients to the boil over medium-high heat while stirring frequently. Continue to cook on a low boil over medium heat for about 12-15 minutes or until the fruit is fully tender. Remove from the heat and let cool. Once cool, put the mixture through the blender or food processor. Pour into a freezer-suitable container and freeze until hard. Remove from the freezer five minutes before serving.