Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Rhubarb Pie and Poetry

Strawberry Rhubarb pie with vanilla ice cream, recipes below (photo from http://www.thatsnotwhattherecipesays.com/ 
Rhubarb, which some call Pie Plant because people most often used it for pie filling, is indigenous to China where herbalist used it for its purgative qualities. Venetian traders introduced it to Southern Europe where rhubarb first appeared in an Italian garden in 1608. From there it spread to the rest of Europe. Rhubarb’s first reference as food, as tart and pie filling, dates back to 1778. It crosses the Atlantic with British colonist and becomes popular in New England gardens around the 1790s. Thereafter rhubarb cultivation moved south with northern migrants to the upper south where one found favorable growing conditions during the winter and spring moths. When I walked into my grandmother’s front door back in the 1960s and 1970s, the delicious smell of baking pies just slapped you in the face. Grandma Opie did not consider it overindulgent for her grandson to have two slices of rhubarb pie with ice cream. Here is a poem and some recipes in memory of my grandmother who passed a little more than a decade ago.
Rhubarb Pie
If rhubarb pie
You've never eaten
Give it a try
It can't be beaten
I know what you're thinking
Oh how can this be
Rhubarb's reminiscent
Of red celery
How can something
This stringy
Become a great pie
There's a sweet little secret
Of that I won't lie
It takes lots of sugar
A half plus a cup
And a third cup of flour
To thicken things up
An eighth teaspoon of salt
And the Rhubarb you add
Four cups peeled and chopped
Won't turn out too bad
Mix it all up
And pour in a pie pan
Lined with a crust
You mixed up by hand
Dot it with butter
Or margarine is ok
Two tablespoons should do
At least that's what they say
Put on a top crust
Flute the edges up high
And cut in some vents
So the top doesn't fly
Sprinkle with sugar
And put in to bake
At 425 Three-fourths hour
Should take
When it is done
Place on rack for to cool
Don't eat it too soon
Or you'll get burned you fool
When it's just warm
Then open the fridge
With vanilla ice cream
You'll want more than a smidge
With milk in a glass
Or coffee in cup
You might soon discover
That you've eaten it up
Then go tell your friends
That you've found a new gem
And maybe next time
You'll save some for them!
Anonymous poem by

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