Last night I tried a new recipe for Rhubarb Apple Crisp that made my husband love rhubarb for the first time. As I mentioned earlier, this plant has traveled a bit and bursts forth with history each spring. It used to be in my grandparents' yard, many many years ago. They split the rooty-tuber part and gave half to my father. (It's apparently very easy to break up like that and it recovers as if nothing had happened.) Ryan and I moved into our home in September of 2008 and dug up the ground the following spring to make our lovely garden. Dad surprised us with half of the rhubarb tuber from his garden. We promptly planted the oddity in the ground, wondering if that dead looking thing was actually going to grow. I'm telling you, NOTHING, save maybe an asparagus shoot, looks as strange as a rhubarb plant unfurling out of the ground. It looks wrinkled and cabbage-y and then keeps unwrapping itself each day, when the rest of the garden is still brown and dormant. Kind of like the vegetable rooster of the garden. "Wake up!" shouts to the pea, spinach, and arugula seeds, who blink their eyes a few times and follow suit.
I picked the very last of the rhubarb to put in the crisp, and once cooked, it had that fevery-slightly-naughty taste to it. And as I ate it, I felt so connected to my Gramma, who may have made the same dessert and closed her eyes as we did, enjoying every gooey bite. This plant, I suppose, could continue to pass endless down through each generation. What a fun down-to-earth legacy that would be!