Marcel Proust found his time machine in that little sponge cake called a Madeleine. For me, time travel comes from a nibble of fresh, uncooked rhubarb.
Steamed rhubarb is nice, especially with yogurt, and I adore rhubarb crumble. But neither holds the power of rhubarb eaten raw: one tiny bite, and I’m instantly transported to the back porch of our old house on Musgrave Avenue. There I sit, a stick of fresh rhubarb in one hand, and in the other, a small cup of white sugar for dipping the rhubarb. Ah, bliss!
Of course, with what we now know about the toxic nature of sugar, giving a three year-old this snack might be considered more like child abuse than kindliness today. But heck, it was the 1950s and sugar ruled.
Nowadays the rhubarb time machine works perfectly for me sans sugar – a nibble of rhubarb au naturel is all that’s required to fuel the journey. I will admit, however, to using honey and brown sugar when I make a rhubarb crumble.
If you are on Gabriola Island from now through September, I hope you’ll visit the Silva Bay Restaurant & Pub to enjoy a great meal and to check out my “Inspired by the Coast” show. Over 30 of my marine and coastal prints are on display.