Strawberries are so perfectly in season right now in Georgia, I have been buying them at the Morningside farmer's market every weekend. A springtime delicacy that I really miss down here though is rhubarb. I don't think we have the climate for it, it's really a cool-weather plant. This is shored up by the fact that when I was discussing the possibility of making this compote with Melanie, she kind of thought about it for a minute and then said she'd never had fresh rhubarb. As she is a Georgia girl born and raised, I took this as further evidence of it not occurring in nature in these climes. I was lucky enough to fall in the good graces of a rhubarb connection however, and procured a couple pounds of this wonderful vegetable. They met up with our incredible local strawberries, and everything got stewed together into a really easy compote.
Cut up a pound of rhubarb stalks into 1 inch chunks. Put them in a pot with 3/4 cup each water and sugar. Set it over medium-high heat and let it stew until the rhubrab is falling apart, about 15 minutes. Now here is a cautionary tale for you: Do not become distracted and ignore your pot. All that sugar will totally burn hell out of your nice dutch oven and you will be sorry for days as you try to clean it out.
Drat. I am so foolish. Anyway, when the rhubarb is falling apart, but before you burn your pot, add in a pound or so of fresh, sliced strawberries. Let them get soft along with the rhubarb for about another 5 minutes, stirring often. That's really all you need to do and you will have the delicious, saucy, classic combo of of strawberry-rhubarb. You can jazz it up by cooking it in orange juice or adding some liquor if you like. Mel has been pouring it over plain yogurt for breakfast, or it could be the base for a baked dessert with a crumbly topping. Otherwise, enjoy it as we did, over vanilla ice cream.
Try not to let it get snatched away though.