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Rhubarb and Rosemary

I took a late afternoon walk with my dogs today, unsure of which direction we would go, and after some persistent tugging by Jack on his leash, ended up at the house of my neighbor Sylvia. She welcomed us into her huge garden and we sat in the sun while Team Terrier dug up her newly planted flowers. (She swears she didn’t mind.) I have learned to trust these aimless afternoon wanderings as they often lead to unexpected surprises. Good ones. When I was about to leave, Sylvia jumped up and said, “Take some rhubarb with you.” She walked over to a raised bed overgrown with leaves bigger than pie plates. I thought I was looking at squash until she pulled the curtain of leaves aside to reveal the red stalks below. Simultaneously twisting and pulling the roots, she yanked out a handful of stalks. We hadn’t made it to the gate before passing a rosemary bush on Pacific Northwest steroids. Sylvia plucked a branch of that too. “I know what I’m doing tonight,” I told her. Naturally, making a rhubarb pie. Sylvia is one of my “Bad Borrowers” but since I forgot to ask her for my Limoges plate while I was there, and she sent me home with a bounty of produce, I’m giving her temporary reprieve from the list. I already know where tomorrow’s afternoon dog walk will take me. Back to Sylvia’s to deliver a piece of the rhubarb pie. On a paper plate.