Tart & Sweet

My Kalnicky grandparents had a little backyard garden on W. Wrightwood Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. My older siblings remember more about life there than I do, but I haven’t forgotten that they grew rhubarb and some pretty summer flowers in a patch of their garden during the hot and humid summers. When we visited them during the summer of 1977, I chewed on some sour stalks of rhubarb. Can’t remember if Grandma cooked much with it — maybe jam?

When I saw RHUBARB on the list of plantings provided by Coppertop’s original owners, I had to look up photos of young plants to learn what to look for. I also didn’t realize it’s a perennial. About all I know about rhubarb is it goes great with strawberries in pies, cobblers, and homemade jam. Good thing I have two large raised beds of beautiful strawberries plus the gazillion wild strawberry vines.

So yesterday I found the rhubarb at Coppertop! It’s planted in one of the wooden half barrels on the northwest corner of the house — the area I call “the gravel stairway.”  The rhubarb is beautiful, and it is hard to imagine I walked by it so many times without realizing what it is.

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