There is something about summer and its long intangible days.  When you are a kid, it seems to last forever and yet the days slip through your fingers like water. Time has no meaning, it could be lunch or dinner but you are still in your swimsuit so who cares? Snacks in the shade mid day are best if they are cold or frozen to contrast with the heat. Somehow things always seem to fall into place when you are a kid.

When you become the mom, you figure out that SOMEONE was figuring it out for you. SOMEONE was purchasing or preparing the snacks so those languid moments can be peaceful and joyful.  Thanks mom.

I am too much of a kid at heart to give up on those moments and that blissful brain-space of open-ended flexibility.  For me, it is the smells and the snacks that open my mind. A waft of lilac can stop me in my tracks; a bite of strawberry can send me teleporting backward to a less complicated time.  Finding a moment to sit and savour the best Ontario fruit helps me to slow down. Strawberry Rhubarb compote is the symbol of that moment.

Rhubarb has such a short window. May/June and done. Catch it at its peak and the moment can be plucked from time.  Overlapping with June/July strawberries makes it even more special.  I can remember the sour smell of rhubarb mingling with the sweet, bright, fruity smell of deep red strawberries in my mother’s kitchen.  A cool, shady activity of hulling the strawberries was frequently assigned to whichever kids were around. I am still not sure which of us was hoodwinking whom when half of the berries were consumed before they made it to her pot of rhubarb. We never got in trouble for our furtive nibbling so I think it was mom hoodwinking us.

This compote tops ice cream, goes on cookies, can be made into a cobbler or crumble…I like it straight from the spoon. That way, I can have a mouthful of summer with the moment stopped in time.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Recipe By     : Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP

Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time 15

1/4       cup                         apple juice

1/2         teaspoons           cinnamon

6           cups                       rhubarb — coarsely chopped

3           cups                       sliced strawberries

¼-1/2    cup                         honey or maple syrup

In large pot, combine apple juice, cinnamon and orange rhubarb.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium and add strawberries, simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in honey to desired sweetness.