Spiced Rhubarb Syrup

rhubarbThis weekend welcomes the start of winter with a rainy few days. I for one, love the excuse to stay in and catch up on some relaxing. Well I call it relaxing but it’s just staying at home, cleaning, baking and repotting some of my plants to make more space on the balcony etc etc.

When I first made this syrup it was to accompany a semi-sweet sparkling wine on a picnic in the park. I was honestly surprised how well it worked, balancing perfectly together with the wine. It was a warm Autumn day and the leaves were in full change, so beautiful. If only I remembered my camera.

The syrup would also work swirled through some natural yoghurt or drizzled over vanilla ice cream. Don’t waste the remaining rhubarb either! Use it over muesli or porridge but remember to remove the spices before storing in the fridge.

rhubarb syrup

Spiced Rhubarb Syrup

250g caster sugar

350ml water

6-8 stalks rhubarb, cut into 5 cm pieces

1/2 a star anise

1 stick cinnamon

thumb size piece of ginger, sliced

squeeze of half a lemon

First make the simple syrup by heating the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low-medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the remaining ingredients and simmer gently until the rhubarb is soft.

Strain through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. Stir the rhubarb to remove most of the liquid. If you want a clearer syrup and have the patience let the liquid drip out without forcing or stirring the rhubarb. Leave to cool then store in a jar in the fridge.

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A New Year and A New Beginning…

Whether you’re the type who makes New Years Resolutions or not, a new year is the perfect time to regroup, look at the year past, what you can learn from it and where you can go from here. Usually these things don’t just happen by themselves, you have to make the effort to sit down, relax and contemplate.white peach iced tea

If your happy with where life is taking you, that’s fab, but most of us want more, and in doing that it takes effort.

I’ve had some crazy ideas this year. Some of them I’ve followed through, some didn’t work and some I just sat on. I don’t know where life might take me this year but I do know if I don’t make the effort to change it’s direction I’ll still be in the same place next year and that’s not where I want to be.

Once we’re thrown off our habitual paths, we think all is lost, but it’s only here that the new and the good begins.” – Leo Tolstoy

The Contemplation Drink aka White Peach Iced tea.

Place 4 cups water and 1/4 cup caster sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. While this is happening finely chop two very ripe white (or yellow) peaches. Once the water has come to the boil, add the peaches and 4 bags of tea. I have strong loose leaf tea so I used about 4 teaspoons. Cover with saucepan lid and leave to steep for a few minutes. Strain through a reasonably fine sieve, cool, add a squeeze of lemon and refrigerate.