Stalking the Wild Rhubarb

My love of strawberry rhubarb pie began when I discovered that the house I had just bought held a surprise: one renegade rhubarb plant.

When I bought my first house in Somerville, Massachusetts, as a young career woman, I was delighted to have a small space for a garden

When spring came I got out and dug up the poor earth, enriched it with peat, manure, and fertilizer, planted seeds and seedlings, and eagerly awaited the results.

Near my carefully-tended small plot I saw a variety of weeds and wondered what to do with them. Fortunately, a friend of mine pointed out that those “weeds” were actually raspberry plants!

The previous owner of the house had written into our purchase-and-sale agreement that she would dig up and take away the raspberry bushes, a rather unusual stipulation. But raspberries being what they are, they didn’t all leave, to my delight. 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that hidden among the raspberries was one rhubarb plant! I don’t know where it came from or why there was only one, but I tended it carefully and each year got enough rhubarb for one strawberry rhubarb pie.

(One year I also made an old fashioned rhubarb custard pie, a recipe from my Aunt Alice’s friend Betty Palmer. It’s sort of funny looking, but very rich and tasty.)

I love rhubarb season!

Now I’m fortunate enough to live near a great local farm that grows amazing strawberries, and I look forward to June, knowing that I can make the best strawberry rhubarb pie with fresh local fruit from just down the road.