Monday, May 14, 2007

Spring Thing

Some people look for the first robin, some people wait for the opening of their neighborhood farmers' market, others look for the mailman to start wearing shorts. Me, I yearn for the first pinkish green stalks of rhubarb to appear in the produce aisle. Growing up, my grandmother always canned jars of rhubarb sauce that would be served for dessert after the noonday meal (called "dinner," not lunch). Of course, my grandfather would douse it with half a sugarbowl of refined sweetness, but I ate it straight from the jar, savoring each strangely appealing bite, feeling the tart/sweet taste in my mouth.

I was even known to take a stalk, cut off the poisonous leaf (which we'd sometimes tie on our heads with string for an impromptu sunhat) and munch on the raw article, prompting much pursing of lips and choking from surrounding brothers and cousins. But I loved it. Which probably accounts for my continuing love of rhubarb in just about any form, though I admit to a loathing of the bastardized version that cuts its wonderfulness with strawberries.

So far I've made a rhubarb pie and a couple of crisps. Yet every time I have it, it somehow tastes new to me. So I'll continue to make more until the season ends, summer comes and I can look for the signs of spring again next year.


@JeanAnnVK said...

Brave to eat it raw! I took a taste of it raw and figured I just shouldn't do that again or I wouldn't eat it at all! I made an absolutely unbelievable rhubarb bread...everyone in the family loved it!

Kathleen Bauer said...

I was young, what can I say? I'm not brave enough to do it now, but I'll let you know if I "screw my courage to the sticking place"! In the meantime, I've made two crisps this spring ('08) and they've been truly fabulous!