When we lived in our little 1950s house in Victoria there always came a time in the spring when I realized with a start that the rhubarb was probably ready in the backyard. We had inherited a rhubarb plant when we bought the house, and previous owners had planted it behind the shed on one of the sides of the backyard. I really never went behind the shed except for once a year when I remembered that the rhubarb was ready. It was the perfect plant: it just grew and grew and when I remembered it was there, I went and harvested it.
Now that we are in our new house I am waiting to plant a rhubarb plant of my own. I am waiting until we finish some landscaping in the back and get a fence to keep the deer out etc., so someday rhubarb time will come, but not yet. In the meantime I buy rhubarb at farms stands and sometimes am lucky enough to get it from friends who have an abundance. This year I put some rhubarb in the freezer and bought some especially to make this cordial recipe that Marisa on the Food in Jars site posted about in May.
I have never made a cordial before. Just thinking about cordials reminds me of the scene in the Anne of Green Gables series where Anne gets drunk from the cordial in Marilla’s cabinet and makes a scene. This version is not alcoholic however!
This cordial was very easy to make, it didn’t take that long. I had a Meyer lemon languishing in my fridge that I wanted to use up, so it was the perfect opportunity.
I boiled all the ingredients together…
And strained it with my sieve. I did push it through the sieve, which I now regret and wouldn’t do it again as it made sure that I would have some rhubarb pulp in my glass when drinking the cordial. Not a big deal, but next time I’d just let it sit for a while and drain.
In the end it made a beautiful jar of cordial which I’ve been enjoying with water or club soda when I remember it’s in the fridge. Anne would have liked this recipe, and the ladies of the town would have not been so shocked at the result if she had drank this!