Monday, May 17, 2010

AAM and rhubarb

I was asked recently by a fellow blogger if I had any recipes for rhubarb.

No, I don't though I do like rhubarb. We seldom see it in the stores here, and I've never thought of growing it. I believe our climate is too warm, too humid, too soon to be good for growing this ruby beauty. Now Maine, I bet that's the kind of place to harvest your own. Why does Maine come to mind? Well it's close to Quebec, and Quebec is the first place I ever at rhubarb. However, I didn't think I was eating rhubarb...

Between my junior and senior year of high school, I was an exchange student in Quebec City. Our nuns had convents there and they tried to give us chances to speak the foreign language we were studying. I was studying French because I had all the intentions in the world of attending Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service. (That was not to be but that's another story.) I felt privileged to have been chosen as the first exchange student to Quebec.

I spent the summer with the Dion family and was made welcome and felt at home...mostly. My French which was fluent in the US needed a good boost when I had few English speakers about. Quebec teenage slang was a whole new world. Food also had some quirks. I found that the milk seemed to have a slightly blue tint. I wondered for a while about that until I saw that it was powdered skim milk made at night. Ok, one mystery solved. The beloved Tourtiere was pretty heavy going for me in the summer and I never learned to love it but I ate it.

One night at dinner, the dessert was one I wasn't sure I could stomach. However, seeing as how I planned to be a Foreign Service officer, I knew that accepting local customs and food would be a part of my future life. I gulped and forged on.


Was this a celery upside down cake? I tried not to gag, and watched everyone else dig in. Time to bite the bullet or rather celery and take a forkful. I did and was amazed to find it was sweet! Did the Canadians sugar their celery??? I think the look on my face was strange enough to cause my host-sister Danielle to ask what was going on. Back and forth in English and French I finally made it clear to my only-French speaking host parents that I had thought it was celery!! NO, cherie, it was rhubarb!!

It was only years later that I learned that rhubarb does not always stay red when cooked, tho I suspect that is also dependent on the variety.

1 comment:

bluerosephoto said...

It looks delicious.
I love rhubarb !

Blog Archive

Popular Posts