More About Trees and Plants...
Here's a sure sign of spring -- onion sets, rhubarb and asparagus rhizomes, flower bulbs, seeds, and much more for the garden have appeared in WalMart.
We had a big clump of rhubarb when I was a child. It was an extremely tart variety with red stalks and huge leaves. My mother liked to make a few rhubarb desserts in the spring when the stalks were fresh and tender. The flavor was probably mildest at that time!
My favorite of Mama's desserts was a baked rhubarb and mulberry pudding that was sort of sweet and sour. The bland, sweet mulberries toned down the sharpness of the rhubarb. Regrettably, I don't have the recipe for it. I don't suppose Mama ever wrote it down.
A few years ago, my brother told me about the rhubarb he's been growing in his garden. "Rhubarb is good!" he announced in the voice of one who has made an amazing discovery. He explained that Mama had got the start for her rhubarb from my great-grandfather. It was "pioneer stock", my brother said, not an improved, selected-for-sweetness rhubarb. Vastly superior strains are now available, he assured me.
After I took the photo that's posted above, I bought a bag of three "Victoria" rhubarb rhizomes out of one of the boxes. I will set it out sometime soon, if the ground dries up enough that I can dig a hole! I don't know how well it will do here with our very hot summers, but I'm going to give it a try.
Still, I wish I could have a start of that old sour rhubarb of my childhood. I looked in the place where it grew when I was back at the ranch several years ago, but there was no trace of it.
One year ago today, I posted a photo of typical Kentucky countryside and wrote about the words, "field," "pasture" and "meadow".