Nick moves fast through the 100 degree heat to the precise location in his Clements Ridge Farm where the rhubarb grows. The soil is hot and I have to tread carefully, my flip flops failing to keep me afloat on the well tilled farm. Nick darts quickly between rhubarb bushes, snipping ripe Christmas colored stalks once at their base and again just before the leaves. A leafy pile forms and he tosses the first few stalks into in the box I carry in my arms, but it becomes too difficult for me to keep up with him.
My flip flops, while well suited to the lake we were headed to, are not as well suited to romping through a farm. I stop following Nick and instead take in my surroundings. Seemingly, he grows everything from berries to veggies. My eyes return to Nick. The box of rhubarb is nearly full. I can't tell if he works this fast all the time, or if he works this fast because of the heat. The nearest shade is 100 ft away at the produce stand and I eye it longingly.
We finish (and by we I mean he finishes) shortly after and return to the cool shaded stand. On the way back he asks me what I'm going to make with the rhubarb. I tell him about the bakery and about the rhubarb upside down cake that's been on Patrick's mind and about the strawberry rhubarb muffins that we make on occasion. I don't mention the rhubarb shrub that's been on my mind or the rhubarb margarita that I could use right about now, in this heat.
We thank Nick, and leave with our bounty and spend a wonderful afternoon at Lake Camanche. I'm tempted to swim to an island in the middle of the lake, fully clothed, but can't convince Patrick to join me. Instead I wade, thigh-deep in my shorts. We sit on the concrete path that leads into the lake and dry off quickly, listening to the occasional boat passing by and waiting for the waves to lap against the shore shortly after. We return home hot and thirsty and get started straight away on rhubarb margaritas. It sounds like just the ticket to cool off.
In our first trial run of the margaritas we use only the rhubarb syrup but determine it isn't flavorful enough for us. A 1/4 cup of rhubarb pulp later and we've got a refreshing drink that shouts rather than whispers the star ingredient. Feel free to use your own judgment. Use a little of the pulp or a lot. You can't go wrong. Reserve any remnants for topping plain yogurt or even ice cream. WIN.
rhubarb margarita recipe
This recipe makes two perfect summer margaritas.