What a lot of rhubarb

The same friend who gave me The Alice B Tok­las Cook­book for my birth­day has lent me a copy of the hard to find Futur­ist Cook­book. Pub­lished in Itali­an in 1932, it’s a mani­festo for the food of the future designed to lib­er­ate us from con­ven­tion, dull­ness and pasta. The recipes which com­bine touch, sound and smell include one called Aero­food, com­posed of a slice of fen­nel, an olive and a kum­quat, served with sand­pa­per, vel­vet and silk. Only the sand­pa­per need not be eaten appar­ently, but it must be fingered as the food is devoured. As the diners swal­low down the vel­vet and silk con­fec­tion, waiters are on hand to douse their heads with a large spray can.

The trouble with break­ing with con­ven­tion is that it can become a fash­ion in its own right. Which is how I found myself attempt­ing to smoke sal­mon over Lapsang tea leaves this week. It’s appar­ently effort­less, appar­ently fun and appar­ently deli­cious. Yes, to the first, no to the second and an abso­lute ‘you have to be kid­ding’ to the third. The chok­ing, bit­ter, bil­low­ing smoke caused my neigh­bour to knock at the back door to ask if we needed help. When the sal­mon was ‘ready’, my daugh­ter spat her piece out, my son ate his hold­ing his nose and our span­iel turned her back for the first time in her life. An appet­iser of vel­vet, silk — hell, even the sand­pa­per — would have been tasti­er.

There’s a won­der­ful line in a Jilly Cooper nov­el that ‘the only way to get the garden out of your nails is to wash your hair’. I can report that the only way to get Lapsang smoke out of your hair is to wash it not once, but three times. And I wanted to take my son’s sax­o­phone-clean­ing brush to my poor, choked throat.

Thank­fully, the neigh­bour who asked if we were ok had a bundle of rhu­barb under his arm. So we aban­doned the sal­mon and set to work on some­thing a little more deli­cious. Rhu­barb ice-cubes.

Rhubarb Ice Cubes

Rhu­barb sticks — I used six chubby ones and ended up with half a litre of syr­up

For each stick of rhu­barb, five tea­spoons of caster sug­ar and half a cup of water

Half a star anise for every two sticks

A bay leaf for every two sticks

Cut the sticks into 2cm pieces — snip­ping it straight into the pan with scis­sors is the quick­est way. Add the rest of the ingredi­ents and sim­mer for fif­teen minutes. Allow to cool slightly and strain into a jug (don’t be temp­ted to mush it down with a ladle because it will release an estu­ar­ial sandy-col­oured slurry into your gor­geous pink brew). Let it drip until there’s no more liquid left in the pulp. The rhu­barb syr­up is deli­cious stirred into a cock­tail, but it’s more showy to freeze it. I drank my cubes with gin and ton­ic.

I think the futur­ists would have liked rhu­barb ice cubes. But there aren’t any futur­ists left. Like tea-smoked sal­mon, they went out of fash­ion.

If You are engaged in pur­chas­ing medic­a­ments online, now may be the time to do so. So the next mat­ter is where can you find inform­a­tion that is reli­able. You can get such inform­a­tion fast and con­veni­ently by going online. There are many ill­nesses such as schizo­phrenia which have no cure. One of the most pop phys­ic is Via­gra. What about com­par­is­on between Cial­is versus Levitra and ? Nearly either adult knows about . Oth­er ques­tion we have to is . The symp­toms of sexu­al dis­orders in men switch on lack of sexu­al fantas­ies. Not­with­stand­ing sex is not vital for good health, it’s cer­tainly good for any­one. So if you are exper­i­en­cing erectile prob­lems, it is essen­tial to see a cer­ti­fied doc­tor instantly for a com­plete med­ic­al test­ing. Cer­tainly, online phar­macy can hands-down help you for solv­ing your all per­son­al dif­fi­culties.

15 thoughts on “What a lot of rhubarb

  1. These look fant­ast­ic! I would kill for a cold drink with some of these in it.

    You might be inter­ested to hear that Heston Blu­menth­al has just done a tea smoked sal­mon for Waitrose, it will be in the shops this autumn!!

  2. Hi AJ — or lem­on­ade if you prefer x

    Hi Kath­ar­ine Thank­fully the heat has returned here today, so I don’t have to drink my rhu­barb cock­tails wear­ing a jump­er

    Hi Sarah I didn’t know that Heston Blu­menth­al was going to be run­ning the gaunt­let of tea smoked sal­mon. I might give it a miss — my love affair with it is over for ever!

  3. So beau­ti­ful. I just adore the idea of using star anise. I would die for such a lovely glass, with the beau­ti­ful pansies..poetry.

  4. Do so love push­ing the envel­ope! Sorry to hear the smoking was a dis­aster but I think I would enjoy a G&T with those del­ic­ate beau­ties.

  5. At the mar­ket on Sat­urday they had some good look­ing rhu­barb. Made these little ice cubes and got me a bottle of gin. Lovely! Thank you.

  6. Hi Valentina
    I was so happy to read your com­ment. I’ve been away in Vir­gin­ia — a post on that some time soon — and read your com­ment while sit­ting on a very delayed and hot air­craft, so it cheered me up hugely x

  7. Oh — I am so totally in love with these!! The col­our just blows me away, as does the shape. Love the saga of the smoke too ;P

  8. Pingback: Smoked beetroot with goat's curd and smoked garlic | Eggs On The Roof

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