I know that I’m beginning to look like a hoarder, with the cherries and tomatoes and now the rhubarb but really I’m not. I just love good food and will make anything, in large quantities, if it’s something that I can’t buy at the store, like the cherries, or I can get at a really good price like the rhubarb.
As a kid I remember stealing rhubarb out of peoples’ yards, bringing it home and sitting on the steps with cup of sugar in one hand and the sour rhubarb in the other. Dipping and double dipping of course we, as kids would eat this ridiculously tart stem and enjoy summer. Okay so we weren’t really stealing it, it seemed to grow at the back of every yard, easily accessible from the back lane. No one was troubled by our theft and I don’t recall ever getting questioned about where I may have found these stalks. Perhaps I was, or perhaps I recall incorrectly, whatever the circumstance, I have fond memories of biting into sugar to get a burst of sour, so sour that my mouth is watering even as I type this.
Now my mother grows rhubarb in her backyard, I keep thinking I should get some plants and settle them around the garage so other kids can enjoy stealing them, if they do that anymore. Maybe now they simply buy a package of sour soothers or the like and get a similar experience from a bag. For me I’m going to sit on my swing in the sun for a bit and pretend I’m 6 again.
I’m not sure if it’s a Manitoba thing, Winnipeg thing or even a North End thing but I know that almost anyone I talk to about this, if they grew up in Winnipeg at least, have similar memories of stealing and eating rhubarb.
To hold on to some of that summer sparkle, I just canned these with a very light sugar water.