Rhubarb Pancakes

Life is so random it comes off as planned. Does that make any sense?

My usual commute is as follows: get on the blue Line in Springfield, switch to yellow, and hop onto the red line for Van Ness. It's a handful but neat how you pick up on small details. For example, always try to get seated in one of the first trains when you ride the red line because the exits are at the end of the station. Tricks like this shave time and the aggravation of walking through the crowd.

Hoped on the train as usual. At the Woodley stop, I recognized someone entering the car and sat directly behind me. It was my friend Lam from highschool that I have not seen in years. We started catching up when the intercom announced someone had jumped on the tracks (they're okay!) at Dupont. We gave it a few minutes and decided to take action.

As luck would have it, Lam lives in the area and knew where to go. A group of his friends just so happened to be at stop we got stuck at and joined our caravan. We caught the bus and went to the yellow line. I tried to rush ahead and catch the train... and missed it. Good thing I did- because at that moment- my cell phone died.

Lam caught up and let me use his phone to make sure I had a ride home... which again... happened to be on the way to where he was going to help a friend move!

What should have been a catastrophe turned into an ironic and fun adventure. We rode all the way to Alexandria together and the boyfriend was kind enough to scoop us both up. Small world, no?

Below is a little recipe I conjured up. If you can think of improvements, please share! These are fluffy rhubarb pancakes- yes rhubarb! I was determined to make the most of the rhubarb season! I used about one stalk and some change, the flavor was subtle and it gave the pancake a slightly blue color.

For the syrup, I made some fancy poached rhubarb. Very simple to make! It's meant to be served with rice pudding but I think it made a very elegant topping. I think it would be great on top of vanilla ice cream. With the leftovers, save in a container and use as a jam substitute.

Rhubarb Pancakes

1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 egg yolks, beat till fluffy
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 and 1/2 large, bright red rhubarb stem
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
cooking spray

Chop the rhubarb into bite sized pieces. Place in small sauce pan over medium heat with the 2 tablespoons of water. If it begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, add a little more water. Add the egg yolks, butter, and milk. Add lemon zest (optional).

In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Combine wet and dry ingredients. Do not over stir.

Cook over medium low heat.

Sprinkle with cinnamon!

Poached Rhubarb
adapted from Food and Wine (May 2009)

1 cups water
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup dry red wine or rosé
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1/2 pound rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths

In a small pan, heat water with sugar until sugar dissolves. Add the rhubarb and bring to boil. Lower heat; add wine, lemon juice, vanilla bean, and cinnamon stick. Let sit about 10 minutes or until cooled.