Chow Town

On Mother’s Day, why not treat Mom to a Farm Girl Cosmo

On Mother’s Day today, some lucky moms will be served breakfast in bed. Still others will go out to brunch.

But I get the best treat of all — My kids are making dinner.

It will be delicious, and not just because I’m a proud mom.

Like me, my kids believe in flavor. We don’t eat by philosophy or season or budget or nutrition alone. The most important thing for us is that something tastes good.

So that’s my focus on the Chowtown KC blog — flavor.

Today, our flavor post “tastes” spring rhubarb, a plant that has many more uses than just strawberry-rhubarb pie. English cooks like to combine rhubarb with honey and orange, but Americans tend to emphasize the sweet/sour combination with sugar and lemon.

Rhubarb, also known by the old-fashioned term “pie plant,” was an established garden plant in the Heartland by the mid-nineteenth century. The only problem with perennial rhubarb is that sometimes you have too much of a good thing and it’s more woody than tender. That’s when you make Rosy Rhubarb Syrup. (You can also use frozen, chopped rhubarb.)

Rhubarb syrup turns a pretty pink, is tart yet sweet, and is delicious in lemonade or in a Farm Girl Cosmo. You can also make Rosy Margaritas with 1 cup Rosy Rhubarb Syrup, 1/2 cup tequila, the juice of a lime and all the ice you want.

So here’s a “sip” of what I’m talking about from

Heartland: The Cookbook


And a toast to moms everywhere.

Farm Girl Cosmo

How you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm, after they’ve been to the Twin Cities and sipped Cosmopolitans, Sex-in-the-City style? Maybe by serving a batch of these drinks, whose secret ingredient is a rosy syrup made from rhubarb, long a reliable staple of the farm wife’s garden. If you like, serve a trimmed stalk of rainbow chard as a swizzle stick.

Makes 4 drinks

For Rosy Rhubarb Syrup:

4 cups chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen and thawed 1 cup water 2 cups sugar The juice of 2 lemons

For the Farm Girl Cosmo:

3/4 cup vodka 1 cup Rosy Rhubarb Syrup 1/4 cup fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon orange extract

To prepare the syrup: Place the rhubarb and water in a saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook the rhubarb until tender and pulpy, about 10 minutes. Strain off the rhubarb pulp, reserving the juice. Measure the juice and add enough water to equal 2 cups. Return the liquid to the saucepan over medium-high heat and stir in the sugar. Bring to a boil so the sugar dissolves, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice, and let cool. Strain again, then pour into clean glass jars or bottles. (Refrigerate, covered, for up to 1 month.)

To mix the drink: Combine vodka, syrup, lime juice and orange extract into pitcher and stir. Pour into glasses.


Heartland: The Cookbook Award-winning cookbook author Judith Fertig lives, cooks, bakes, grills and writes in Overland Park, Kan. She is the author of “Heartland: The Cookbook” and “I Love Cinnamon Rolls,” and the co-author of “The Gardener and the Grill” and the IACP award winning “The Back in the Swing Cookbook.”