Monday, April 14, 2008

Eating red sticks

…Russ Parsons (La Times, Apr 9, 2008) writes about this weird veggie, rhubarb. HA remembers these strange red stems and big curly jungly leaves in her grandmother’s garden in Milwaukee.

…Parsons points out that some people hate the rhubarb as much as others loathe the bamboo. There's a rhubarb over it!

…Only the bland is universally popular, murmurs Parsons.

…Rhubarb defines the not bland. It’s tart, chew on it without sugar at your own peril.

…Even rhubarb lovers don’t usually snack on it in the wild.

…It needs cooking—and pies seem to be the preferred method of applying heat and stem softening. (The stems are probably full of lignin--some really hard stuff HA once edited a book about.)

…Then the strawberries leap into the act—we want in!

…The acid in the rhubarb stabilizes the red in the berries—ah, heaven.

…You can make rhubarb into a sorbet, too, or a crumble, Cherries get along with the Stemmed One. Orange is compatible.

…How about a rhubarb compote to go with duck? Or with pork?

…Rhubarb can be found in the stores, but is sort of a boutique item. Strange for a veg/fru so strong and robust.

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