Rhubarb when raw is so tough
And its leaves contain poisonous stuff,
But when cleaned and de-soiled
Dipped in sugar and boiled
Then the stalks are quite tasty enough.
I was just reading about desserts from the old days. I got to thinking back to my own life with desserts. Spring would bring wonderful rhubarb pies...pies filled with that big leafed plant that grew in dad's garden. One end of the garden was dedicated to rhubarb. Mom only made this pie during the early spring...any later she said it was poisonous. I always wondered about that old wive's tale...how could you eat something early in the year and then it turned to poison later on. Hmmmm. I guess that eating the leaves might be a no no.Speaking of leaves...she talked to one of her farm lady friends, and was told that you could cut up some rhubarb leaves and put them in an aluminum pan..along with a little water...and cook it. It would clean the black off of aluminum.This really does work. My son had a friend who told us that he would be in the garden helping his mom and would pull a stalk of rhubarb and eat it.
We would just wipe it off and chew
Then watch each other's mouth go askew
So sour yet so good
That was in my boyhood
Things were tastier in 1942.
There were other desserts made from rhubarb. Rhubarb kuchen, cobbler, quick bread and sauce. My favorite would have to be the sauce. Cooked with just some water and sugar...then put in the fridge to get cold. It was so good for breakfast with toast. (My mouth is salivating right now, I can just taste it)
When Mom and Dad moved into an apartment I planted a rhubarb plant for her in my own garden. Then my Mother In Law wanted one too...so in went another plant. Behind our shed was the biggest rhubarb garden that anyone ever saw. We had it coming out of our ears. Mine never went to seed like you see some varieties do.
Later on, when I started making things with rhubarb, I learned to make rhubarb strawberry freezer jam.
"Your rhubarb, I've noticed it grows
By the outhouse where everyone goes!"
Grandad said, "Lad,
It isn't so bad...
They're family! Just people we knows!"
I no longer have rhubarb in my garden. It takes up so much room and needs full sun to grow well. I buy it from farm stands occasionally. Joe isn't a big fan of rhubarb, so I would be the only one eating it.I always grab a slice of rhubarb pie at a Church supper or ice cream social. When spring comes and I see those huge leaves in a farmer's garden...I get a longing for something tart yet sweet. A piece of rhubarb pie please.
Rhubarb is much better in pies
Sweet, sour and attracting flies
It's good as gooseberry
And tasty as cherry
Please, have a slice -- don't be shy!