The other day when I was out walking Sammy, I happened to notice that my neighbor down at the end of our road had a row of plants with big, big leaves growing up in his backyard. I recognized those plants instantly - RHUBARB!
Now, how to drop a hint or make a request of him to see if he would maybe share a bit of that stuff -delicacy that it is.
So, I stopped and inquired of his son about the stuff and the son told me his Dad does use the Rhubarb, often cooks up a batch of it into some kind of sauce. But he also said his Dad definitely doesn't use it all up so he told me he would talk to his Dad about this and sometime, in the future, he would bring some up to me.
OH BABY! I could almost taste the rhubarb sauce I would be cooking up if he did bequeath a few stalks on me!
Yesterday, Mandy was preparing dinner (Roast beef, gravy, mashed potatoes, kluski noodles cooked in with the meat and gravy, some fresh cauliflower and coleslaw -along with pineapple upside down cake for our dessert -yeah, once in a while when Mandy cooks she pulls out all the stops, although I fixed the cauliflower and coleslaw) and things were in my hands for a while, she took a kitchen break to walk the mutt. When she returned home, she handed me a big plastic grocery bag and said it was a present for me.
One peek into the bag and I knew who she'd seen on their stroll! Yep, it was a big, big bag full of rhubarb!
And so it came to be that I cut up about 2/3 of the rhubarb in the bag -reserved what I hope will be enough for me to get really ambitious and try to make rhubarb pie perhaps today -and got the cut pieces to cooking then on low while we ate our supper.
Then, instead of enjoying a slab of pineapple upside-down cake for dessert, I had myself a little dish of some yummy rhubarb sauce instead.
As I was eating that tart delight, I even got Miss Maya to live dangerously and take a tiny taste of it, fully expecting her to wrinkle up her nose and run to the sink or garbage can to spit it out. But, much to my surprise, she took that little dabble, rolled it around on her tongue, in her mouth (looked like she was participating in a wine tasting event) and announced to me, with a huge smile on her face, "That's really good, Gram!"
Child, your Great-Grandma and your Great-great-grandma would both be so proud of you!
I got to thinking too as I was putting the sauce in a container to stash in the refrigerator that my having cooked up this rhubarb sauce yesterday marked what was probably the first time in about 33 years since rhubarb has been cooked into sauce in this house! I know I haven't had any rhubarb available to me to make sauce (or pie) with and it will be 33 years come December since my kids and I moved in her, after my Mom died. Mom, on the other hand, and my Grandma, always, ALWAYS, had rhubarb growing in the back yard as long as I could remember and every summer, it would be such a treat when either of them cleaned a big bunch of those stalks and cooked it down into a really delicious -as well as very healthful -sauce.
And now, who knows, but maybe I can rekindle that tradition.