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  • Writer's picturecoffeeandwoodsmoke

rhubarb in the rain

the morning dawns under cover, accompanied by a steady drumbeat of rain. a low ceiling, not quite grey and not quite white. throughout the day this curtain rises and falls, its feathered hem revealing glimpses of the mountains beyond.

raindrops drip off leaves and eaves, steady; an invitation to meditation.

while i long, on the one hand, for the warm summer sun, i find myself sinking into these rainy days. slowing down: physically, of course, but also slowing down the fretting, the stream of global worries and concerns. the rain offers comfort and respite, an embrace at a time when so few can be shared between humans.

i take a window to run out to the garden, rain boots but no coat, to pull some rhubarb. the leaves larger than my torso, brimming with rainwater that rills down my pant legs as i lean in to pull the stalks; ruby red and emerald green, the colors resplendent against the grey.

back inside, we take to task: chopping, blanching, freezing. ensuring we have some summer on hand in the winter months to come.

Saturated Simple Syrup

We held out just enough rhubarb to make a batch of Strawberry Rhubarb Chia Jam--still one of my favorite ways to use this early summer gift. The recipe I’m sharing today is a simple one, a staple for easy sweetening (excellent for summer’s iced tea and iced coffee) and one that will be used in the recipe I share in my next post. Many simple syrup recipes call for a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water. This one calls for 2:1. It allows for an equivalent level of sweetening with less water content, which helps prevent watering down of flavor and also prevents ice crystals from forming when you freeze it. I hope you find some good uses for it!


  1. 1 C granulated sugar

  2. 1/2 C water

To prepare:

  1. Place sugar and water in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat.

  2. Bring to a simmer.

  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Place in a glass jar, cover, and refrigerate.

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