Tuesday, September 15, 2015

A Recipe for Happiness Bake Me Tart

Who doesn’t smile at the site of a fresh baked pie? What about a pie that can bring happiness into your life? Serve it up, you say. Welcome to the late spring veggie pie known as rhubarb pie. Yes that’s right, rhubarb is a vegetable best know as a sweet and sour jam, pie and sauce.

When I think of rhubarb I flash back to my farm house in Maine where in the back yard every year in late spring the rhubarb would appear. I would pick it fresh and make rhubarb sauce and rhubarb pie. My rhubarb was red and tart. Some rhubarb is green and also tart. The red rhubarb is called strawberry rhubarb and hence the name strawberry rhubarb pie. However, most people added strawberries to the pie, but the truth is the red stuff is called strawberry rhubarb.

Rhubarb has been used medicinally by the Chinese for thousands of years. It has been used as a strong laxative and as an astringent. The word rhubarb originates from Latin. The ancient Romans imported rhubarb roots from faraway and unknown barbarian lands. The lands were beyond the Vogue River, which was also known as the Rha River. Imported from barbarians across the Rha river the plant became Rha barbarum and eventually rhabarbarum, or the  Latin word for rhubarb. The modern English word rhubarb derives from rhabarbarum.

Rhubarb is now classified as a superfood for its ratio of health benefits to calories – only 7 calories per 100 grams. Wow! And for those who want to lose weight rhubarb actually speeds up the metabolism. High levels of calcium mean it is a fat-free alternative to dairy products which lowers cholesterol. Now if that doesn’t make you happy; here is a song by John Cleeves to entertain and make you happy:

The Rhubarb Tart Song

1. I want another slice of rhubarb tart.
I want another lovely slice.
I'm not disparaging the blueberry pie
But rhubarb tart is oh so very nice.
A rhubarb what? A rhubarb tart!
A whatbarb tart? A rhubarb tart!
I want another slice of rhubarb tart!
2. The principles of modern philosophy
Were postulated by Descartes.
Discarding everything he wasn't certain of
He said 'I think therefore I am a rhubarb tart.'
A rhubarb what? A rhubarb tart!
A Rene who? Rene Descartes!
Poor nut he thought he was a rhubarb tart!
3. Read all the existentialist philosophers,
Like Schopenhauer and Jean-Paul Sartre.
Even Martin Heidegger agrees on one thing:
Eternal happiness is rhubarb tart.
A rhubarb what? A rhubarb tart!
A Jean-Paul who? A Jean-Paul Sartre!
Eternal happiness is rhubarb tart.
4. A rhubarb tart has fascinated all the poets.
Especially the immortal bard.
He caused Richard the Third to call on Bosworth Field:
'My kingdom for a slice of rhubarb tart!'
A rhubarb what? A rhubarb bard!
Immortal what? Immortal tart!
As rhymes go that is really pretty bard!
Doctor Lynn

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