There are some days I wake up feeling more terribly clever than usual. On these days I just know in my gut that everything I attempt will be terribly successful, inarguably original and uniquely, well, “Trevor”. Being me on these days seems to take no effort at all and so it was very exciting to wake up one day last week and believe I was having one.
Even during that 9 minutes of ‘snooze time’ between the initial wake-up alarm and my actual departure from the sheets I constructed a few jokes to include in that morning’s office presentation, worked out a stunningly creative win-win solution to a persistent homeowner’s association”problem”, and with two half-awake minutes to spare, I mapped out a never-before-attempted blog-worthy dessert to make use of the pound of rhubarb I had stashed away in the refrigerator.
I half dreamed it was something no reader will have ever heard of before and yet when they read about here for the very first time they would exclaim, “Oh, of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Trevor is indeed so very, very clever.” All this without even being fully awake. Everyone out of my way– I’m having one of my days!
Unfortunately it wouldn’t quite be this way. At least not all day.
My jokes landed even better than expected and turned my usual anxiety-ridden workplace speaking engagement into something of a comedic tour de force . (I now know how Louis CK must feel.) Ripe with confidence I picked up the phone and pitched our homeowners association my idea for lawsuit avoidance and they went for it! No court date set.
It had seemed as if all I touched this day was golden. I raced home and got to work on the rhubarb. I cut it up, cooked it down with some sugar, pureed it in the blender and added some of the rose extract that had been vexing me ever since I ended up with four bottles of it in my pantry.
I thought how terribly clever of me this rhubarb and rose sorbet. One taste during the important ‘adjust to taste’ phase and I knew I was on the right track. This was going to be good!
I added a small splash of fresh lime juice for balance and a tipple of kirsch for depth. I was impressed enough with myself even though I already knew that rose sorbet really wasn’t that original. I had tasted something similar to it before in the form of the Persian special occasion dessert faloodeh . Faloodeh is the consistency of a loose granita and is flavored solely with rose water. Surprisingly it also features vermicelli noodles running throughout it which is pretty weird, huh?
Yup. Too weird for clever me to get behind so the idea to mix it up with rhubarb (and nixing the noodles) struck me as truly ground-breaking. I just knew that once Ben and Jerry got wind of it I would be packing my bags for Vermont to become their new flavor consultant.
Not wanting to waste any more time than necessary I woke up early the next morning and took some photos and wrote my extremely humble blog post describing my achievement. I took a moment to take stock of myself before I unleashed my terribly clever rose-rhubarb alchemy onto the sorbet enjoying world at large.
I practiced my humility.
“Oh thank you Mr. Lebovitz ! Yes, it truly is special, isn’t it?”
“What’s that you say? Savuer is on the line? Hang up!”
I made sure the phone was working and then, just as I was about to hit ‘publish’, I received an email indicating that a my dear friend Adri (herself a terribly clever blogger ) had posted something to my Facebook wall. It was a recipe she thought I would like. A recipe for Rose Rhubarb Sorbet …
This particular version she littered my wall with wasn’t quite the same as mine but it was enough alike to take the wind out of my formerly very clever sails. I felt pretty silly for not even googling to see what had already been posted out there. Duh.
A quick rhubarb rose search revealed many, many such recipes and some of them were even more clever than mine. Some were even flavored with gin and that genius made me feel extremely un-original.
Rhubarb Rose Sorbet
Nope. Despite my clever snooze cycle planning the morning before this would not be one of those clever times.
Crestfallen I was prepared to scrap this entire post. Clearly the world didn’t need another Rhubarb Rose Sorbet recipe. I thought instead I would use my suddenly pedestrian sorbet as an ingredient in a refreshing summer cocktail by adding it into some champagne flutes and topping it off with prosecco.What could be more clever than Rose Rhubarb Prosecco Floats?
Turns out quite a lot of things actually.
The cellulose rich sorbet resisted submersion in lovely Italian sparkling wine and decided instead to seize up rigidly and float to the top of each class. Instead of a fizzy pink froth it looked more like a bobbin blob of snot. My elegant Persia-by-way-of-Italy cocktail idea was a flop.It took some inelegant mashing with a spoon and quite a bit of quick stirring to save the day, but this isn’t a recommended practice and certainly not one terribly-clever-me would want to exhibit in front of guests.
But hey. Here it is anyway. I post it because it is quite good (if not unique). Besides, I just remembered that I got this far without posting terribly clever or unique recipes in the first place. Its not what I do. Why should I limit myself thusly now? That wouldn’t be very clever. Would it?
This is what you will need:
- 1 pound rhubarb cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon rose extract or 1 tablespoon rose flower water (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons lime juice (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon kirsch or cherry schnapps (optional)
- crushed pistachios, for garnish
- sour cherry syrup , for garnish
This is how you make it:
- In a saucepan combine the rhubarb with the water, sugar and salt and bring to boil
- Stir until all the sugar is dissolved
- Lower the heat, cover the saucepan, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the rhubarb is completely softened
- Remove from heat and let completely cool
- Put rhubarb into a blender and add the rose extract or rose water
- Start off with only one half the amount you think you will use. You can always add rose flavorings but you cannot remove them
- Add the lime juice and blend until smooth
- Taste and adjust the level of rose flavor and lime juice
- Chill the mixture in the refrigerator and then chill in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions
- When ready to serve scoop sorbet into individual serving dishes and top with the crushed pistachios and a drizzle of fresh lime juice and sour cherry syrup
(adapted from somebody clever )
The flavor should not overwhelm with either the rose or the rhubarb. The lime juice brightens the flavor and keeps the sugar from being too sweet. This will be a very well balanced flavor.