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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rhubarb


This morning Hennessy told me that we needed to get a shipment of rhubarb in.

When you purchase this unique ingredient for springtime fare you have to be careful.

Produce companies will never warn you with.....

"Be careful, this is the last shipment of rhubarb we'll have for the season."

Instead they'll simply say something more like....

"Huh? let me look....nah, I guess we're out. Sorry, maybe next year."

Rhubarb freezes pretty well though, so it never hurts to order it in large jags if you have the freezer space.

So after placing my order, in the back of my mind I started to think......

"What was that Kim Ode rhubarb poem?"

But then I stopped for a second, and kinda recoiled in fear.

My mind flashed back to the Klecko of 10 years, and 20 years past.

What would 28 or 38 year old Klecko think if he saw todays bumbling buffoon pondering garden poems?

38 year old Klecko would roll his eyes in disgust.

28 year old Klecko would simply fall on his sword to save future embarressment.

But I guess this is how the maturation process works huh?

There are other quirks that I've viewed as pathetic in my life, that I have later grown to embrace.

Pulling crabgrass on Sunday afternoons.

Planting Moss Roses.

Eating asparagus.

Listening to WCCO....real radio for real people.

O-M-G.......now I see why we immortalize people like Cobain and James Dean.

When you die young...you end up leaving behind a template of perception that remains raw, with sharp edges.

Well....now that I've surrendured to my new me....won't you join me in celebrating my Minnesota springtime with a poem written by my friend Kim Ode?

Enjoy.......


RHUBARB


Come midmorning, my sister and I

Would be shooed from the sandbox

To pick a dozen stalks of rhubarb

For that day’s pie.

There is a knack to picking rhubarb.

Grab too high and you snap the stalk.

Grab too low and you lose the leverage

For that crucial tug from the root,

Like pulling a boot from spring’s muddy gumbo.

Then we would take our lives in our hands

Lopping off leaves coursing with enough poison

To kill a congregation –

Or so we’d come to believe

Given the stern order never to taste them.

The work was both gratifying and disconcerting,

Entrusted to wield foliage so deadly

We could not feed it even to the hogs,

Bur heaved the leaves into the ditch

Onto a wilting mound that grew with every pie.

So, if I hesitate over that first bite,

It’s only a flicker of remembering how it felt

To bring those stalks into the house,

Hoping we had not been trusted too much.


THE END


*Don't forget...Klecko has a new blog entitled......

Poets Are Lame (and other things Mike Finley has taught me)

2 comments:

  1. Thanks, Klecko! Writing that poem took me back....
    That's the essential curiosity of rhubarb - heaven and hell within inches of each other. For while the leaves may give you a bellyache, rhubarb itself is luscious. Remind me to send you my new cookbook, "Rhubarb Renaissance," which has as many savory recipes (it's a vegetable, you know) as sweet. Check out the cover at http://amzn.to/HSu0qT

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim,

      Did I mention that Hennessy is going to bake your Persian Snack Cake recipe for our "Kentucky Derby Retail" in May?

      Delete