The state of rhubarb

Maybe I am making this too complicated, but social relationships are not unidirectional


I told you I would write about rhubarb and now I am doing it.

For those of you in the south, I am sorry.

But by the same token, almost nobody up here knows the joys of collard greens or okra.

Here is how rhubarb happens:

You know someone.

People who pay for rhubarb have no friends or have no sense. It’s like paying for Black-Eyed Susans or kittens – if you look hard enough, you will always find someone who is giving them away.

(I myself am digging up a bunch of purple coneflower this afternoon to take to work tomorrow to give to co-workers. It’s taken over my garden but I can’t bear to put it in the yard waste.)

You get rhubarb by knowing someone. For me, that someone is a co-worker who left a few pounds of it in the break room a few years ago. By the end of the day, it was still there, so I felt safe in taking it all home.

A few weeks later, someone left another bunch. Again, I waited the prescribed amount of time not to be a greedy pig and was able to walk out with it.

The next day, I left a note in the break room:

Whoever is leaving the rhubarb, thank you and give me your name. I will make you some rhubarb bars.

Which of course was not the right thing to do because the last thing someone desperately giving away rhubarb wants is more stuff made of rhubarb. They just want to get rid of the rhubarb and will force you to take it, as you can see in the video below by the brilliant Charlie Berens.

But what they do want is chocolate. 🙂

As does the person who left this in the break room:


Which Marido and I turned into this:

fish cooked

And which is why I spent yesterday evening making brownies that I will deliver to work tomorrow to my fish dealer and my rhubarb dealer. It’s all legal tender in this state.


3 thoughts on “The state of rhubarb

  1. What do you mean … ‘sorry Southerners”? Love my rhubarb, but do mostly have to pay for it. But we get it in late April in this “neck of the woods”. Long gone, now. How about sharing the recipe for bars? Normally, I make crisp.


  2. In NC 20 yrs now, I do miss rhubarb! But I don’t like collards or okra, so…..I just dropped off a batch of crookneck squash in my office break room, and was rewarded with lemon cucumbers in return!


  3. I live in New York City, and I remember when I told my Wisconsin grandma that I have to pay $5/lb at the farmers market just so I can have one rhubarb custard pie per year. She was HORRIFIED.


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