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  • Writer's pictureHu Eliot Young


If you have been at my law office during the summer months, you know that it is on a double corner lot and has a large flower garden and a rhubarb patch, among other things. I LOVE RHUBARB! Forget for a moment, the phonetic notation that one can rue "barbs" as a lawyer without getting into massive litigation overdrive. Understand that this celery like stalk with poisonous-not merely inedible-leaves, can grow like a weed yet provides a tart though sweet taste indulgence along the lines of a lemon.

Franco Sammarelli, a friend from the Puglia in southern Italy, operates an agriturismo farm and cultivates artichokes, pears and other garden fruits and vegetables. He sells them and his well known extra virgin olive oil under the name "Sammarelli", through the Edmonton Italian Centre shops and other markets and stores in western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Together with a friend who used to be associated with the Canadian Culinary Olympic team and now manufactures chef apparel for culinary colleges across Canada, we decided it was time to ensure Franco not only imported fine culinary products, but that he has something to export to Italy.

Last year, we cut a batch of rhubarb stalks and made up a rhubarb sauce with strawberries and (well... read on in the recipe guide). Franco now has something to take to Italy. Rhubarb will grow most anywhere. I am trying to convince another friend who operates a fishing lodge near Snowdrift NWT on the Great Slave Lake, to take some rhubarb and good quality topsoil and he will have a new addition to the dinner menus that will keep his American fishing buddies happy. I am an autodidactic type when it comes to topsoil; read my notes on "crap" elsewhere in the blog for ruminations on manure.

(Next up: gooseberries).

But I digress... when it comes to rhubarb, my mother, Eileen Young has the family medallion for recipes and I have included a few of my favorites. The foreword to the recipes was written by me in recognition to her superior culinary skills and is attached (previously forming part of the recipe book we prepared for a family reunion).

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