Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Rhubarb Compote # Vegan MoFo

My month in Polish food theme in relation to Vegan MoFo continues with Rhubarb Compote. Compote is a fruit drink that can be consumed both hot and cold. It is also easy to make. See recipe below.

As much as I would like to talk to you in further detail about compote, there is someone else on my mind today. He is handsome, strong and feisty and goes by many names. Mainly: Maximus, Max, and Poodle.

Six years ago, somewhere in Queens, NY, I was walking to the train to go to work, and noticed a scraggly looking cat with a limp.

The before picture of Max. 
I immediately picked him up, hitched a ride with a stranger - 20 minute walk home with a stray cat did not seem like a good idea - and that was that.

After Max recuperated, I wanted to find a permanent home for him, but Max had some issues. Mainly, he did not allow anyone to cut his nails, loved to sing at night, and had a biting problem. 

Once upon a time at the vet's office, he was labeled aggressive. Even the vet tech had difficulty with Max in spite of wearing a face protective mask and long mittens. Well, if someone looked like Jason Voorhees during a check-up, I would have my defenses up too.

Max has tried out a few wonderful homes in the past, but permanent home was not in the cards for him. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride. Well, today after years of searching for his new family, it looks like he won the lottery. Max has been accepted by a loving couple who have lots of friends for him to play with. Let's hope Max behaves. While I am happy for Max, I miss him completely, and maybe shed a tear or two for this little bugger.

Handsome boy!
Have a great life Max. Now, let's make some Rhubarb Compote.

Rhubarb Compote
Ingredients (Makes about 1.5 liters)
4 large rhubarbs, washed, leaves removed and cut to 1-inch pieces
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries/strawberries, defrosted
6 cups water
5 tablespoons vegan vanilla sugar (or more depending on preference)*

In a medium pot, combine rhubarb, berries, water and sugar. You can peel the rhubarb if you wish. I like to use unpeeled rhubarb because it adds nice color to the compote in addition to the berries.

Rhubarb and strawberries prior to adding sugar and water. 
Bring to a boil, lower the heat to simmer, and cook uncovered for 15-20 minutes. Once the compote has cooled a bit, taste for sweetness, and add more sugar if necessary. I like mine not too sweet.

The compote is great served warm or chilled in the refrigerator. Try it in cocktails!

To make vanilla sugar, mix vegan sugar of choice (example: raw cane sugar) with 1-2 vanilla beans. Be sure to slice the vanilla bean lengthwise first. Add the seeds and the sliced vanilla bean to the sugar and mix well. Place in a tight jar for two weeks for the vanilla sugar to fully develop its flavor.

If you are in a hurry, use regular vegan sugar in this recipe along with 1 vanilla bean, sliced.

Cheers to you Max! 

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