Rhubarb!

The tart taste of spring is coming up in the garden now.

What to do with it? A rhubarb-ginger cocktail and a rhubarb-ginger crumble, of course.

The cocktail has a couple of ingredients that are hard to find here, but if you’re in the States, you can get ’em.

Into the shaker: 1 oz. gin, preferrably Bombay Sapphire, half an ounce each of simple syrup, fresh lemon juice and Canton ginger liqueur. Liberal shakings of Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters. Stir and strain into ice-cold martini glasses. Garnish with a thin stalk of rhubarb and some flower petals. Nice to suck on the stick when the drink is drank. Kyla ate hers altogether.

You could use just about any crumble recipe to make the rhubarb-ginger crumble, as long as you use ginger snaps. We adapted one from an ancient LCBO magazine. We keep ’em all because they’re an excellent resource. And they’re “free”, if you don’t count that you paid for them with your taxes.

Preheat the oven to 350° F and butter an 8×4 baking dish.

Rhubarb bit:

6 cups chopped rhubarb
1.25 cups sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp grated orange rind

Topping:

.5 cup all-purpose flower
1 cup coarsely crumbled ginger snaps or other ginger cookie
.25 cup brown sugar
.5 cup chopped almonds or other nuts
.5 cup butter

Mix the rhubarb bit and pop it in the pan. Mix the the first four topping ingredients and cut in butter. Mix it with your fingers until there are lots of clumps of goodness. Throw it in there on top of the rhubarb and bake it for 30 to 40 minutes, until gooey tart rhubarb bubbles up through the top. Serve it with a little glass of Canton. Nice!

Words and pictures: Rob Bitschofsky

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