The Real Reason I Love Rhubarb

I’ve been raving about how rhubarb is my new favorite pie. But I don’t think it’s the bittersweet vegetable I love so much. It’s the love. Period. It’s the fact that my friends and neighbors have it growing wild in their gardens. They call me with such enthusiasm upon its arrival, excited about the red stalks shooting out of the ground after such a long and dark winter. They chirp like little robins in spring about how they can pick it for me to make pie. Then the picking process becomes an event in itself. Like the grief-soothing evening spent with Lyndsay and Andreas and their new baby. Like the delivery from my neighbor Sylvia who just brought over her third crop to share with me.
The pictures tell the story. Sylvia got a very warm greeting from Jack, then Daisy joined in. Sylvia felt so welcomed. There on my front steps I watched their love fest with a very big smile and felt a taste of happiness lift my spirits. All this heart-warming interaction because of an odd, stringy, root-like vegetable? No wonder I love rhubarb so much. As long as friends keep growing it I’ll keep making them pies. Love Pies.

1 thought on “The Real Reason I Love Rhubarb

  1. Last night I dined at the BBQ Inn in Lihue. It's a restaurant on a side street that would qualify as a place visitors want to know about when they ask, "Where do the locals eat?"

    This is it. The menu testifies to the melting pot of cultures in these Hawaiian Islands, from hamburgers to peppercorn-encrusted seared ahi salad to chicken katsu to steak stew to tofu and veggies.

    And it's surprisingly affordable–for Kauai. My ahi salad filled a dinner plate with local mixed greens, chopped portobello mushrooms, cubes of papaya and giant hunks of locally-caught ahi. For $14.95, it included miso soup, hot or iced tea and dessert.

    This is where you come in, Beth. My dessert choices included, take a deep breath with me: apple pie, cherry cream pie, banana cream pie, chocolate cream pie, chocolate mint pie and a couple other pies I cannot remember today.

    "Cherry cream pie?" I asked.

    "Yes," the waitress said.

    When she served it, I said to one of my dinner guests, "Well, this isn't what I was expecting."

    The pie was layered, starting with the crust, and, then, cherries in a sugary concoction (probably from a can), creamy pudding-like goo and a whipped cream topping.

    My dinner guest–Natalia–said, "You weren't raised on Kauai, were you?"

    "No," I said.

    And, then, she said–pay attention, Beth–"Mainland pie is not like Hawaii pie."

    Obviously, you and your American pie show need to come to Hawaii. I can't wait.

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