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« Citrus Roasted Rhubarb | Main | Blogiversary & A Giveaway! »

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

There comes a day in every baker's life where absolutely nothing will go right. And I mean nothing. Perhaps it is the great Butter and Sugar god's way of telling you that you've had enough good fortune and it is time to share it with someone else. More likely, though, they look down at you from the marshmallow clouds and loathe you for your ability to make sweet treats so much that they curse you with bitter misfortune

This happened to me last Wednesday. It was a day so bad I can scarcely speak of it now, 4 days later. My mother told me this is one of those days I'm going to laugh about someday.

She's wrong.

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Last Wednesday also happened to be my first blogiversay. I was supposed to be celebrating my love for pastry and heavy cream, but instead I spent most of it in meltdown mode, in tears over spilled cake. A little ironic, yes, but, as any food blogger would tell you, sometimes that's just how it goes.

I had originally set out to create a very elaborate meringue cake for you to celebrate one year of blogging. I prepped everything the night before and set out to assemble it in the morning. It was gorgeous. Stunning. Delicious. As I was wiping the last bit of stray chocolate from the cake stand to take photographs, it happened. The entire cake stand toppled over. I don't know how. I don't know why. I managed to catch the stand before it hit the table, but it was too late. The meringue collapsed, the layers slid, and 1/3 of the cake was sitting on the table.

A few choice words were said.

I was upset. It was my blogiversary. I needed to share something with you! It wouldn't be a blogiversary without cake!

In my stubborn fit of rage, I got in the car, drove to the nearest kitchen store, and bought myself a new cake stand. I went to the grocery store and bought more ingredients. Then I went back home and I spent the next four hours baking that damn cake. Again.

As I was assembling it, the bottom layer collapsed on one side. I sucked in my breath and tried to fix it up the best I could. It would have to do. After getting everything in place for the second time, I stood back to admire my work.

You won't believe what happened next. I still don't believe what happened next. What happened next isn't even physically possible.

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

The cake started melting.

It had become the Virgin Mary of cakes; I didn't even need to cry because my cake was crying tears of frustration for me. Sad, clear tears ran themselves down the sides of the cake. They pooled in the bottom of the cake stand, creating a puddle of misery. The layers weeped themselves right off the cake.

To put it simply, I had a meltdown. It wasn't pretty. Over $40 of cake was lying on the table or dripping onto the floor. My kitchen was an absolute disaster. And I still didn't have anything to share with you.

I had another four failed desserts that day. You can call me persistent. You can admire my determination. But, as it so happens, I just don't know when to throw in the towel. If there was any doubt before, you now know that I am undeniably not immune to (multiple) kitchen failures.


So it goes.

In this case, I think it's safe to say that when life give you lemons... make lemonade.

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

This strawberry rhubarb lemonade, however, is definitely not a kitchen failure. It is so light, intense, and unbelievably fruity. I had to stop myself from drinking the entire two quarts in one sitting. The strawberry notes in this lemonade really stand out. The sweetness of the strawberries is cut by the tartness of the rhubarb, creating this wonderful blend of flavors. This lemonade is such a bright, bold color that you just might find it difficult to look away. This is a drink you don't want to miss.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Coconut Granola

Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

Yields about 2 quarts

4 cups (1 lb) rhubarb, chopped into 3/4 inch pieces
2 cups (16 oz) strawberries, quartered
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 cups water
1/3 cup (2 lemons) fresh lemon juice

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, boil rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, and water. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve and cool in the refrigerator.

Once cool, add the lemon juice. Garnish with lemon slices, rhubarb, and sliced strawberries. Enjoy!

Reader Comments (17)

Thanks for sharing your failures as well as your successes. I think that is most helpful for all of us.
05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDebbie H
Oh NO!! I totally feel your pain! I just made a strawberry rhubarb cheesecake and put it in the fridge and after a while I went back in and saw that it was slowly collapsing as the topping was way too heavy for the cake. I was able to take pictures first but it's so frustrating when you know how hard you worked on something only to have it fall apart. And TWICE! I'm so sorry! Happy anniversary! This lemonade looks great!
Awwwwww..... I just want to give you a big hug. What a calamity! I think iId be on Prozac now if I were in your shoes. Congratulations of reaching your first blogiversary and having the courage to Keep Calm and Carry on! Your lemondae looks so refreshing and could perhaps be the perfect mixer for mother's other little helper - gin! Another sterling post -Bravo!
05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDi-licious
Sorry to hear about the cake mishap! Happy blogiversary, though :) This lemonade looks fabulously summery!
05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBeth
Oh you poor soul; I have so been there... kitchen meltdowns are not pretty. But, this lemonade is like a supermodel; I mean I have never seen a prettier colored lemonade then this one you created!
05.30.2011 | Unregistered CommenterBakerbyNature
Debbie H-- I always feel better about my own failures when I read about someone else going through the same thing.

Krissy-- Oh no! Poor cheesecake. I've shared several recipes on this blog where my photos have subtly cropped out the part that didn't look so pretty.

Di-Licious-- Aw, thanks! I really could have used a bit of gin after that cake...

Beth--Thank you! This is really a perfect summer drink.

BakerbyNature-- Kitchen meltdowns are definitely not pretty. Especially when people don't understand why you're crying over failed cake or cookies. Wasted butter is worth a few tears, in my opinion. I love the idea of a lemonade being a supermodel!
05.30.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I'm sorry to hear about the mishaps! That's never fun. :( On a brighter note though, happy blogiversary! Very exciting! And this strawberry rhubarb lemonade looks amazing. Strawberry rhubarb pie is my favorite - it's like that in liquid form. I am going to have to try this!! :)
Oh, dear... this story sounds all too familiar. It reminds me of an incident I had not too long ago. I refer to it as the Great St. Patty's Day Cupcake Massacre {you blamed it on the pastry gods, I blamed it on the leprechauns}. I, too, blogged about the tragedy. And it made me feel better, but it didn't bring my cupcake casualties back. Had I know the recipe for something as fabulous as this lemonade at the time, I may have forgotten about the incident entirely. Hoping for nothing but good fortune in our baking projects from here on out, but if our luck does take a turn for the worse once again, at least we'll have something sweet to soothe the pain. ;) Thanks for sharing!
Looks gorgeous. Such a refreshing lemonade with such a beautiful color. I love Rhubarbs sourness a lot and this is an ultimate way to get rid of summer thirst. Thanks for sharing this great idea.
05.31.2011 | Unregistered CommenterVisda
I feel so bad for you! You tried and tried.......and I guess we've all been there, but that doesn't make it any easier does it? Just the other day, I tossed a whole batch of cupcakes because they tasted horrible...don't know what I did wrong. The I tried another recipe (another hour and a half in the kitchen), and though these were edible & pretty good, they were not outstanding. I was hot, frustrated, tired, and had only a few cupcakes to show for it! What we won't do for our foodie blogs!

This lemonade looks awesome! I've never tried using rhubarb in this way, but since we just brought some in from the garden, maybe I'll give it a try. Oh yeah, congrats on your one year!
06.1.2011 | Unregistered CommenterPatty H.
Has anyone tried substituting the sugar for splenda? then it would be a truly light summer treat. but would it still have the same consistency and taste?
06.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Rachel-- Splenda should be an equivalent substitute for sugar. In this case, the sugar is used to help sweeten the fruit while it cooks and, ultimately, the lemonade. Though I haven't personally tried it, I don't see why it would not have the same consistency and taste. I hope that helps! Let me know if you try it!
06.5.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I literally LOLed. Right out loud at my work desk. It happens to the best of us! The Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade looks delish. I would not have thought of making one of my favorite pie flavors in beverage form! Beautiful!
07.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary
looks very very refreshing! Perfect for these hot summer days!
I absolutely love rhubarb and this looks very refreshing. I will have to try it when the weather here in Australia warms up!

Great Post xx
I made this for my book group this evening, and it was lovely. Although I am the only person in Maine who cannot grow rhubarb, I luckily have many friends who can...I'm thinking maybe I could freeze this (before lemon juice) and return to it in the dead of winter, to remind myself that summer does exist??
05.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteph
Steph-- It should freeze just fine. However, make sure to keep the container sealed well to prevent freezer burn.
05.31.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau

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