July 31, 2010

Yummy Rhubarb Iced Tea, Taste of Summer

Ah, yes, rhubarb. Look at the hail damaged stalks...great for making rhubarb tea! I have been accepting rhubarb from growers all over Madison County. This is one plant that loves living in this part of the world (minus the hail, of course).
Chop stalks into 1/2" pieces. You will need about 15 stalks/1 gallon of water...in other words, lots! Bring the water and rhubarb chunks to an easy boil and keep it that way for 1 hour (watch out for overflowage). At the end of 1 hour, turn off the heat, put the lid on the pan, and let it steep for 12 hours. Sometimes I add raspberries.
Early the next morning over a strong cup of coffee, strain the rhubarb mixture. This is the fun ?? part! I use one of my Gramma Hazel's hand embroidered tea towels (the one with the little bear that says "Wednesday"). Lay the tea towel over the bowl and carefully pour steeped juice mixture into the towel. It might take two or three times of doing this depending on how many gallons of juice you are able to boil. Tie the towel and hang so the juice strains into the waiting bowl. I squeeze the towel. Empty the remaining mush into the compost pail. You now have lovely pink juice!
Add about one bear of Montana Made honey...this is from Pony, Montana, one bear/1 gallon juice. Squeeze two or three fresh lemons and add the juice to the rhubarb juice. Using a potato peeler, peel lemon skin 'chips' to add to your juice when it is served. Don't forget a leaf of mint.
Lovely! Not too sweet, not too sour.

1 comment:

  1. Exquisite. I had never heard of Rhubarb iced tea. I thought it was also just brilliant to add fresh lemons. Where I live we don't have easy access to fresh lemons, so what I do is just go online (http://www.buy-lemons-online.com/ ) and order from growers that pick them right off the trees and ship them direct — a tip I learned from my cousin in Anchorage. This way I get fresh lemons picked from the tree without all the time sitting in cartons, trucks and warehouses.