Time to use the frozen rhubarb since the new crop is bursting up from my garden.

I am behind on a lot of things lately: work piling up, overdue on cutting both our lawn and my overgrown hair, embarrassingly late thank you notes still waiting to be addressed, and neglecting this blog!

A few weeks ago, I managed to plant some greens in our garden so we will be eating our own organic salads soon. While tending to our edibles, I noticed that the rhubarb is already up and some stalks are nearly ready for harvest. It reminded me that I had a few bags of frozen rhubarb in the freezer from last year. I meant to enjoy the chopped rhubarb all winter in muffins and breads but the bags were buried and forgotten in my meager one-drawer freezer.

One of the simplest ways to enjoy rhubarb is in a sauce or compote. I emptied a bag of frozen rhubarb into a pan along with some fresh strawberries and a little sugar and let the stove do the rest. The bright red sauce is the perfect balance of tart and sweet. Spoon it over angel food or pound cake or atop ice cream. I’ve found it dresses up a dollop of Greek yogurt making a nice, breakfast treat.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

2 cups chopped rhubarb fresh or frozen
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon water
2 cups sliced strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)

Combine rhubarb, sugar, water and strawberries in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Serve warm over cake or keep in the refrigerator for a few days and spoon over yogurt or ice cream.