Ode to Rhubarb

Today just fell into place.

I don’t think any of us can have enough of THAT feeling.  ever.  I have been blessed lately. I’ve had a stiff breeze of luck and good things blowing my way.  Today I had no plans that could go right or wrong, no great expectations.

What I did have was a lot of rhubarb.

I have recently become acquainted with a rhubarb…are they called bushes?  As the summer rolls on, more will be revealed about how we have become acquainted.  This will happen after the danger of some of you running out to steal it has passed.  Just kidding on that.  sort of.

Anyway, my this rhubarb is so green.  The stems are so red and stripey. So juicy.   It’s beautiful.

And I can’t stop picking it.

SONY DSCOr baking with it.

I have made rhubarb delight pie (inspired by Joseph’s Restaurant in Stillwater), rhubarb scones, and strawberry rhubarb pie.  twice. I’ve gained 5 pounds since I met this plant.  It’s time to stop.  Right after we celebrate Father’s Day and my father-in-law’s 75th birthday tomorrow.  For that, we need something special.

Anyway, today.

Woke up to sunshine.

Let me say that again for those of you surviving this spring in Minnesota.

Woke up to sunshine.  If there were no other words in this blog post, those alone would account for a feeling of wonder.

Had a great breakfast out with Rollo.  I love our occasional weekend breakfast out.  I don’t have to cook, no one does the dishes, and he can’t get up and run off while I’m still eating.  Well, I guess he could.  But, he hasn’t.  We get some sit down and talk time that doesn’t happen during the week.  Plus sausage biscuits and gravy. So far so good.

Then a hike at Tamarack Nature Center.  We are practicing for a Glacier National Park back-county hiking  trip that is supposed to happen later in the summer.

Note to self: lay off the sausage biscuits and gravy.  Those Montana trails are bit steeper than White Bear Lake.

A great walk, good company. Except for the snapping turtle. There’s a song that says  All God’s critters have a place in the choir. Right. ok.  Bad, Mean turtles are just not my favorite members.  FYI I just checked and the song doesn’t mention snappers.  Just sayin.

and again,

There was sunshine.

Sad to have all this fun over by… say 10 am.  Pavers don’t get Saturdays off in the summer.  Rollo has to work.    I need to bake, but who wants to be in the kitchen when the sun is finally out?

But bake I must.

What to choose that’s special enough for a 75th birthday? Rhubarb upside down cake? Martha Stewart’s recipe, I think, but with an added twist of cutting and placing the rhubarb to resemble a stained-glass-esque mosaic.   Am I up for the challenge? With my run of happy lucky,  why not give it a try?

And, just like that! The rain begins and she is good. :0)

That line is stolen from my rain-lover friend Barb Devora’s facebook page.

Like I said, it all falls into place.  I don’t have to feel bad about being inside and Barb gets more rain.

I have to listen to Ladysmith Black Mambazos “Beautiful Rain” six or eight times while I gather ingredients and courage. I send Barb the Ladysmith music.  I don’t know if she liked it.

I switch to John Denver music. Rain on the window with the cat in his nest on the still. And that rhubarb. Life is perfect for just that second.  and the next.

Not the quickest recipe.  Not the easiest.

SONY DSCIt did have an artist feel.  It took my full attention, put me in the zone.  Also, like most art, someplace halfway through the first stained glass pie top, I wondered what the hell I was doing.

This is for FATHER’S Day, right?  Like men care about the artful presentation of the top of their dessert.

Look at the mess in the kitchen. I bet some of you smart-asses friends who have been here are thinking it always looks like that, right?

This cake better be worth it.

It wasn’t perfect, but it was good.  If I had to do it over, what would I change?  Nothing.  But I might bake the cake a little longer.







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