|These are an almost opalescent green-pink. So beautiful and achingly delicious that it's worth the delayed gratification of needing to wait for them to freeze solid.|
There is nothing like it—the way rhubarb smells. I was just stirring it at the stove, thinking about trying to describe to you, and words failed me. It’s so sharp and strange, like grapefruit-scented bubble bath but with bright green leaves in it, and also a fist that sproings out of the bottle to punch you in the mouth.
|This was on our after-dinner walk two nights ago. Couldn't the seasons, I don't know, kind of divide up their treasures a little bit? I'd be so mad if I were one of the seasons that wasn't spring.|
Spring is such a relief this year. I feel the way the cats seem to feel, watching the squirrels from the back door in a kind of ecstasy of hunger and excitement.
|Imaginary hunting is very tiring.|
The bright mornings! The peepers peeping and the red fox yelling from the woods for a mate! The fresh-faced violets and dandelions! The flying ants in my bedroom! Okay, not so much the flying ants. I have always loved spring, only I used to also tell a story about how I love winter too—the coziness and candlelight and stews and sudden-onset nighttime so you can get early into your pajamas with a very small little glass of whiskey—only I’m not sure it’s true. I mean, I do love all those things, but winter! My god. Except I couldn’t bear to wish it away because our Ben? He is leaving us at the end of the season after this one. I am willing time to pass slowly. Take your time, time! No rush.
Where was I? Rhubarb popsicles! Because not only is it spring, it is actually suddenly the dog days of summer and everyone is broiling and cranky at the end of the school day. At least yesterday they were. So I popped these in the freezer this morning to be ready by the time those poor schoolkins return home. Like every popsicle recipe I post, this one is from the brilliant People’s Pops recipe book, and if you still haven’t bought it on my recommendation, after all these years, then you should buy it now. It is just so strangely brilliant: every popsicle is the perfect flavor and sweetness and texture. You’ll wonder what you were thinking, waiting for so long. (Hey, spontaneous give-away! Comment to enter and I’ll pick a winner next Thursday and send you the book! You’ll love it.)
The only two rhubarb recipes in the book are kind of *perfumed*--one with jasmine tea and the other with elderflower—which is not something my family can deal with. My family who gags and chokes and cries out that they’ve bitten into a seashell-molded bar of guest soap if someone serves them so much as a spoonful of lavender ice cream. (Okay, they don’t actually complain. But they don’t like it.) So I just went with vanilla, which is my favorite flavor pairing with rhubarb, even more than strawberries. I know! That might be the most shocking thing I’ve ever written here. I happened to have a semi-pent vanilla pod in a bottle of homemade extract, so I used that, but you can just use vanilla extract.
|Shoulda saved some for a vanilla whiskey sour, ammiright?|
Or skip it. Or sub in some strawberries for the rhubarb, ya animal.
Makes 10 popsicles
Adapted from the brilliant People’s Pops cookbook.
1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced (this will be 3-5 stalks, depending on how robust they are)
1 cup vanilla simple syrup (recipe below)
Pour about ½ inch of water into a shallow, heavy, non-reactive saucepan and add the rhubarb. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and then more frequently, until the pieces have mostly broken apart into a thick puree, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir until smooth then pour into a large measuring cup with a spout. (And if you don’t have a 4-cup measuring cup, get one for god’s sake. You will use it all the time and wonder why you cheaped out on yourself all these years.) You should have between 2 and 2 ¼ cups of rhubarb mash. Stir in the vanilla syrup, pour the mixture into your popsicle molds (leave a little room), insert sticks and freeze until solid. The recipe says 4-5 hours, but I find it takes more like 6-8 for mine.
Vanilla Simple Syrup
Makes 1 cup
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup water
½ a vanilla bean, sliced open or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is transparent. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla bean or vanilla extract. Once the syrup has cooled a bit, fish out the vanilla bean and use a pointy little knife to scrape the seeds into the syrup and then use your fingers to swish the pod around into the syrup and then put the spent pod in your ice coffee, because why not.
|And then when you by accident made oatmeal. Sigh. My rhubarb has too much green in it to stay pink, but I swear it is gorgeous-tasting.|
My daughter made your plum cake as a rhubarb-strawberry cake last night -- spring has officially sprung! I am going to bust out the popsicle molds now!ReplyDelete
I was so excited to get a bunch of copies of Chop Chop at my job (a doctors office). The kids will love them!ReplyDelete
Lol at 'the most shocking thing you've ever written here.'ReplyDelete
Just popped onto the blog this afternoon to find your peanut butter cookie recipe which can't be beat. My kids have been clamoring for them.
I'd love a copy of the popsicle book! The stone-fruits ones are a summertime hit in our home.
My kids are already heat grumpy here in the South where it seems to already be a million degrees, so some new popsicles would be just the thing! I think they are a bit tired of my same old smoothie-turned-into-a-popsicle recipe!ReplyDelete
Holy cow, that's brilliant. I make a smoothie for myself nearly daily but have honestly never thought of freezing it and handing it over to the kids in a fun frozen shape. I am totally stealing this idea... thank you!!Delete
Now I want popsicles. But it's still trying to snow here in Denver, so I guess I'll wait.ReplyDelete
Heat grumpy? What is this thing you call heat grumpy.ReplyDelete
We need the heat! I'm done with winter. And tired of feeling like it's Seattle.
I adore rhubarb more than most things, but I also love that you have a million ways to eat asparagus on this blog and it is almost time!ReplyDelete
Would love that popsicle book!!! Need new molds too. Mine look like flying saucers which make them annoying to eat. Popsicles should not be annoying!!!ReplyDelete
I still love your rhubarb crumble bars best. I also like making posicles from plain Greek yogurt swirled with rhubarb compote, but these sound wonderful. Would love the posicles cookbook as well.ReplyDelete
Oh my god I’m making these for me!ReplyDelete
Well, it snowed today in Colorado. (I know, I KNOW, we need the moisture, but come ON. It’s May 3rd, FFS!) Thankfully, rhubarb is hearty and survives the snow every year. I was just looking out the window and thinking today it’s time to cut some. It will be in the 70s this weekend, so rhubarb popsicles it is!ReplyDelete
These look delicious! Sadly, we live in FL where rhubarb does not grow. I can buy it at the grocery store though, and these popsicles might make the price of rhubarb worth it!!!ReplyDelete
Are you saying you want the seasons to Rainbow Fish it all up? Because - as a children’s bookseller for lo, those many years - I truly believe that book sold because of the rainbow foil bits and that nobody ever really read it. (I pine for seasons.)ReplyDelete
These look perfect!ReplyDelete
Huzzah to spring! I am confident that working through the popsicle book together is just what my kids and I need after a long winter season of mom-who-works-too-much.ReplyDelete
I'm also inspired to bust out the popsicle molds! I've been sick at home suffering from strep throat the past few days and I'm pretty sure I'll have a kid home sick tomorrow too. Uggh. But hooray for popsicles! I love rhubarb so I can't wait to try these. Thank you for the recipe modification. I think jasmine and lavender are too perfumey for food too!ReplyDelete
I moved my rhubarb this Spring, which I think means I am not supposed to eat any to let it establish. But it sends up many stalks I'll probably take a few if only to try these popsicles.ReplyDelete
You know- I would Love to never buy a dye drenched popsicle again... and yet making them myself has never occurred to me as anything that would result in something we’d all enjoy.ReplyDelete
I was on a popsicle-making kick a couple of summers ago, so I’m all set in terms of equipment! I just need some inspiration to get me started again...maybe in the form of a new book? 😉ReplyDelete
Ooo fun, I don't have it and I love our zooko instant Popsicle maker, I'll have to try these with the gifted rhubarb I have ready for action. My friend recommended I make rhubarb simple syrup for mules and other tasty drinks, I'm ready for the weekend !ReplyDelete
Yum! We make lots of homemade popsicles here, but I'm kind of stuck in a rut with flavors. Will definitely try these! As soon as the Bay Area fog goes away and we get some actual warmth :)ReplyDelete
A new post! I’m so grateful you continue to write here, as your posts are such bright spots of joy in my day.ReplyDelete
My son would beg to differ with you as summer means mum will finally bust out the popsicle molds...and finally buy that pot of caterpillars for the butterfly farm we bought him at Christmas (stupid idea as the poor kid has been waiting forever!)
I love to buy summer stuff for Christmas for the kids! It's like Christmas twice! Once when you open it, and again when you get to use it!Delete
I've been up here in Canada, reading you since the old Waiting for Birdy days! First, thank you for all your beautiful words and delicious recipes and ferocious expressions. And second, if shipping costs don't preclude me, please add me to the book draw. I have a nearly-9yo he-beast in my apt who loves homemade popsicles :)
I don't think I've ever tried rhubarb before but this recipe seems to simple. Now to just find it in the store!ReplyDelete
Homemade popsicles would probably be a whole lot healthier than buy one get one free ice cream. Maybe this is my year to start making them!ReplyDelete
(whispers: I have never had rhubarb.)ReplyDelete
But a popsicle might be the perfect gateway. I'm in!
My god, rhubarb! Is there anything better? My family also loves rhubarb with ginger (fresh or candied), which I bet would be great in a pop. The only problem is that we canNOT get it to grow in our yard. After multiple attempts, we have one small plant that gives us 3-4 stalks per year. I feel you can understand how frustrating this is, especially since for many people, it grows like a weed.ReplyDelete
P.S. About spring. Ok, ok, dandelions and primula are great, but you can keep the peepers (insomniacs do not appreciate it when they can’t sleep in). And the pollen. Achoo!
I'd love to win the popsicle book -- thanks for doing the giveaway. Also -- your GF banana bread recipe is indeed perfect! The first time I made it, it was just amazing. I gave half the loaf to a colleague whose mother had just died, and she said it was the only thing she ate one day. The second time I made it, we didn't have enough sour cream, so I subbed in various other dairy products, and it worked, although not quite as well. Regardless, thanks for that recipe -- we'll be making it often in our celiac house.ReplyDelete
I am itching to break out the popsicle molds. We are so close.ReplyDelete
Oh, I was actually going to get that popsicle book last summer and then I waited too long and it wasn't summer anymore. So maybe this is my chance! :)ReplyDelete
That looks fabulous! My kids are popsicle fiends!ReplyDelete
I once almost got divorced when I made my father-in-law pull over to an Amish farm in Pennsylvania so I could buy 8 lbs of freshly cut rhubarb. I then had to carry it on to my flight back to Georgia, where it will not grow for love nor money and costs $6 per pound. All this is to say, I totally feel you on that rhubarb love, Catherine!ReplyDelete
This popsicle to break the post late school year day doldrums idea is genius. Thank you for the idea that my "post searing winter in the mountains of Idaho" brain cannot come up with right now. I'd love a copy of the book so count me in on the giveaway. ;)ReplyDelete
I love popsicles! I usually turn extra smoothies into pops.ReplyDelete
Well, I haven’t quite bought People’s Pops on your recommendation, but I *have* had it in my Amazon cart for something like two years, periodically saving for later and moving it back! One of my favorite rhubarb recipes was a rhubarb-strawberry-rosemary cocktail I made a few years back, and now that I think of it, that sounds like something you might’ve recommended too? Our new-ish house has a little rhubarb patch, and I can’t wait to harvest it.ReplyDelete
I'm so happy every time I read a new post from you! I made popsicles the other day with just some different fruit juices I had in the fridge. Nettle tea does not make for good popsicles, let me tell you. So bitter!ReplyDelete
Wow after all the nor'easters you are making icepops.ReplyDelete
Do I really need a 4 cup? I mean I’ll get it if I do.ReplyDelete
OH, you are dead on, from the inner (and outer?) debates about favorite seasons (I was just mulling this over with my mom the other day, and at some point she gently reminded me that I don't actually *have* to pick a favorite) to the completely wrenching knowledge that our first-born son will be leaving us at the end of the next season. Sigh. And thanks as always for sharing your thoughts. Maybe I'll give rhubarb a try after all... :)ReplyDelete
Sigh. Carter, my 17yo, is leaving us on September 1st for a new life in Boston. I'm jealous that you'll be in the same state as her, while I'll be all bereft here in NY. In the meantime, I'd love to make her some popsicles to remember me by!ReplyDelete
I have never made popsicles at home, but now I think I should.ReplyDelete
My kids would be eternally grateful if I actually made them popsicles! (Although your tortilla eggbake is one of our family's absolute favorites!)ReplyDelete
I would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway.ReplyDelete
We used to have “Popsicle Points” for the kids as an award for when the kids behaved and of course, popsicles were the prize. Everyone loves a good popsicle!ReplyDelete
Reading about Ben going to college is so shocking-- I cannot imagine the asymmetrical emotions you are feeling--I am still in the land of Catastrophic Happiness (preschool and elementary aged kids). I feel like need to parent as slowly as possible, but I also just want them to go to bed! Agh. If I win, I will the popsicle maker that you recommended on Amazon. Thakns.ReplyDelete
When your blog has a new post it's a bright spot in my day! Cheers to PopsiclesReplyDelete
This sounds amazing! I’ve got to try it.ReplyDelete
Spring is finally here and we've made pudding pops. Any other ideas would be wonderful!ReplyDelete
And Ben? College. Reading that made my heart hurt for you, in the best "oh mama", way possible.
Thank you- I would love to win the popsicle book. I have two kids who love all frozen treats and I love rhubarb so its a win-win!ReplyDelete
Popsicles are one of the very best things about warm weather!ReplyDelete
My youngest is leaving for college in September -- after spending the entire summer as a lifeguard at a residential camp! I too am hoping the time moves a little more slowly than the break-neck speed it has been maintaining for a while now.
I'll take fall colors over spring cold and howling wind (the flat midwest here). Popsicles could certainly improve things!ReplyDelete
Oooh, yummy! I've been watching our little patch of rhubarb slowly (too slowly) coming up. Hopefully soon we'll actually have enough to make something with! Happy Spring!ReplyDelete
Love you, love your blog, love popsicles!!ReplyDelete
Popsicles?!?! Who doesn't love a good popsicle?ReplyDelete
Rhubarb is my BIL's favorite. I'm going to be the best SIL in the world!ReplyDelete
So happy it's popsicle season!ReplyDelete
Yum! Popsicles! And Hooray for Spring!ReplyDelete
This is almost identical to my grandma’s recipe for “rhubarb sauce”... We make it as an ice cream or pound cake topping. It freezes really well too.ReplyDelete