A few days ago I found myself with two fat stems of rhubarb and no idea what to do with them. Fortunately, another food blog saved me with a recipe for poached rhubarb; it would be terrific, she wrote, over rice pudding or cottage cheese or yogurt. Best of all, it called for rosé, which I conveniently had in my fridge. M. and I had opened it for movie night last week, and had left it unfinished. I would fiddle with the proportions - more wine, less water, a touch more sugar - and chop the rhubarb more finely, and whoops, inadvertently cook it too long. Oh well. The rhubarb was sweet and tart, soft and melting, infused with the sparkle of rosé and the warmth of cinnamon and vanilla. The recipe had called for half a vanilla bean, but all I had was some vanilla sugar lurking in the back of a cupboard; when I poured the sugar into a cup a few shards of vanilla bean fell out, which was just what I needed.
The rhubarb made a divine breakfast with a scoop of whole-milk yogurt, two mornings in a row, with or without a sprinkle of raw sugar to smooth out the tartness of plain yogurt. I wanted more, but it was all gone. Then I took the reduced syrup, still heady with rosé and spices, poured it over ice with fizzy water. It was sweet, but complex enough to make up for the sweetness. I turned to some lemons rolling around in the vegetable compartment. Voilá! Rhubarb-rosé lemonade! I drank some over ice last night, then with fizzy club soda tonight. It was cool and refreshing, and I am itching to buy more rhubarb, more rosé, more lemons, and start all over again.
Earlier in the afternoon I left work and headed to the park. I wanted a hot dog, but the hot-dog vendor was nowhere to be seen. Alas. I went instead to Molly Moon, which was reasonably empty - no lines! - and smelled of freshly made waffle cones. I think heaven would smell like freshly made waffle cones. I ordered a scoop of balsamic strawberry, and walked back across to the park to find a bench, licking my ice cream as I walked. The balsamic is thick and syrupy, and drips on my hand as I make my way past the playfield, along the fountain to an empty bench. The sun is shining, it's a beautiful day, made even more so by the ice cream in my hand. And stomach.