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The Villages
Friday, June 21, 2024

Gotta have some Rhubarb Pie

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

“Rhubarb Pie, Rhubarb Pie, Gotta have some before I die”. This is the starting lyrics of the song, “Rhubarb Pie” which has been performed by several artists. My favorite is by John Fogerty. It is really a catchy tune, and is one I especially like as it comes up as my birthday nears. The reason being is that I do not have a birthday cake. Rather I have a birthday pie which is much better chiefly because it is obviously a rhubarb pie. When I grew up in Pennsylvania rhubarb grew like a weed. You just went out in the back yard and pulled up enough to make the pie.

My mother made a great pie, and The Blonde in the House has followed suit.

It is just that moving to Florida has made it more difficult as you have to watch the grocery store to make certain that you know when they have it. It is much more expensive but the pie is worth it. It should be understood what I am talking about and John Fogerty was singing about a straight forward all rhubarb pie. I am not writing about a strawberry-rhubarb pie or an apple rhubarb pie that I once saw in a restaurant in Telluride, Colo. They are decent pies, but I usually recommend that the strawberries be put aside and used for strawberry shortcake. The apples could be used for apple dumplings. Rhubarb pie stands on its own!

The only problem I have with my birthday pie is that I have friends who know when my birthday is and they try to mooch some. I have one friend who claims that he has known us for 24 years, and he has had only two pieces of my good wife’s pie. I think he somehow has had three, but I thought I would give him a test the other day. There is a bakery in Racine, Wis. that makes a great breakfast dessert called a Kringle, although it is good anytime. We buy it as gifts and occasionally for ourselves. Well, they recently came out with a rhubarb Kringle. We bought one for our friend and took it over to his house. We sat and talked for a while and it was obvious that they wanted to attack the Kringle.  As we were leaving, they indicated they were going to have some Kringle.  The key here is that my friend did not offer us a piece of his rhubarb Kringle. What effect do you think that will have on my birthday pie’s availability?  

I have another friend who says that I have a strange mind and wander around when I write these. (She hasn’t any rhubarb pie as far as I know, but doesn’t fret about it). In any case I will wander over to malls. I always thought the first covered mall was the one in Edina, MN. I was wrong.  There was one built in England in the 1800’s, but that is not the oldest either. It seems that it was Trajan’s Market in Rome and was built about 110-100 CE. (“CE” used to be BC, but everybody’s feelings were taken into account so it was changed – not certain by who but it was done.) In any case the mall that Trajan built had six levels, 150 stores, offices and apartments. 150 stores are quite a few. They most likely did not have any pie shops as sugar was not readily available. (I am not even certain if rhubarb grew in Rome) I do wonder if they had any sub shops or perhaps a Nike sandals store. OK, Nike was a Greek goddess, but the Romans borrowed a lot of things from the Greeks.

 However, I bet you one thing – the neighbors complained about the traffic!

(Trajan by the way was a complete dictator and would not have had to worry about others eating his rhubarb pie – assuming he had any.)

Barry Evans is a columnist for Villages-News.com

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