Something Special from the Farm

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Rhubarb Rosemary Cocktail
Serves 8
Great for entertaining larger groups in early summer.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups vodka
  2. 1 cup strawberries, green tops removed
  3. 3 cups rhubarb, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  4. 1/3 cup of sugar
  5. 5 ounces of lemon juice (about 5 or 6 lemons)
  6. 1 1/4 cups of water
  7. 1 cup rosemary simple syrup
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients except for the vodka in the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth.
  2. Strain mixture into a bowl or pitcher, pushing on the mush with a wooden spoon to get all the liquid out. Discard mush.
  3. Chill for at least an hour.
  4. Add 1 cup of Rosemary simple syrup (see below0 and the vodka to the strawberry rhubarb mixture.
  5. Serve in glasses filled with lots of ice.
Notes
  1. Rosemary Simple syrup
  2. 3 tablespoons sugar
  3. 1 cup water
  4. 5 large sprigs of rosemary
  5. Bring the water and sugar to a simmer. Remove from heat and add Rosemary. Let the rosemary steep for a half hour. Discard Rosemary and chill. Makes about a 1 cup.
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Blackberry Basil Bellini
Yields 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 Cup fresh blackberries
  2. 1 Ounce basil simple syrup (see below)
  3. 1/2 Ounce lime juice
  4. Prosecco, Cava or other sparkling wine
Instructions
  1. Muddle the berries, simple syrup and lime juice in the bottom of a cocktail shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake like crazy for about a minute.
  3. Strain mixture evenly into two fluted glasses.
  4. Top of with the sparkling wine.
  5. Garnish with Basil leaves and a lime wedge.
Notes
  1. Basil Simple Syrup
  2. 1 cup water
  3. 1/2 cup sugar
  4. 10 large Basil leaves
  5. Bring water and sugar to a simmer in a pan set over medium high heat. Dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add the basil leaves. Steep for a half hour, discard basil and chill.
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Ingredients:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 inch of ginger, grated
1 gallon of cold water
fresh seasonal fruit for garnish

To Prepare:
In a jug large enough to hold a gallon of water, mix the honey, apple cider vinegar and water together, taste add more honey or vinegar if needed. Serve in glasses filled with ice and garnish with seasonal fruit.

“He who likes Cherries soon learns to climb.”
                                                –German Proverb

It was the end of the growing season, and I was wandering through what was left over at our local nursery. As I walked past the under-watered annuals and the leggy tomato plants, I found a little cherry tree that I just had to have.

Four or five years ago, the cherry tree only reached up to my elbows. Today, after a few applications of composted cow manure, and lots of water, the tree stands, magnificent, well over head.

There are a few problems you might run into if you don’t give any real thought to how big a tree will grow before you plant it.

One, if you plant a little tiny bargain bin tree directly in front of your front porch, there is a really good chance its going to grow like crazy and block all view of what’s happening in your driveway. This may cause you to walk out past the once little tree in your nightgown and barn boots to see what your dog is barking at, thinking that the cows may be standing in the front yard, only to find out a salesmen has just arrived.

And number two, one day that cute little cherry tree will grow too big for you to simply stand on the solid ground below to harvest its goods. This is only a problem if, like me, you have no idea where the magic spot is that you put your ladder the last time you used it—when you were thinking to yourself, “This is a really ingenious place to put my ladder.”

That’s how I found myself in the bucket of my skid steer, bowl in hand determined to get every last one of those cherries down from my little cherry tree.

As soon as I was safely back on solid ground, I pitted the cherries with a pickle fork (I think my cherry pitter must be sitting next to my ladder), and cooked them down with a bit of sugar making a delightful cherry syrup. Since it was Friday night, our night to have “Cocktails with the Cows”, I turned the cherry syrup into a base for a wonderful cocktail (see below).

At the end of milking, when the last of our cocktails were drunk, my husband turned to me and said “You know, we should plant more cherry trees”.

Not until we find the ladder…

Sharing cocktails in the barn with new hired hand Craig.


The Cherry Cow

3/4 Pound pitted sour cherries
1/2 Cup sugar
Gin
Ice
Soda water

Heat the cherries in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the sugar, stir to dissolve. Smash the cherries a bit during the cooking process to release some of their juices. When the sugar has dissolved, set the cherry mixture to the side to cool.

Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, add a heaping spoonful of the cherry mixture to the glass.

Now add 2 ounces of gin and top it off with club soda. Stir to combine.

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