While my grandson’s rhubarb pie was in the oven this morning, I went on a trip down memory lane. And seeing as how this is Wednesday and I need to write my blog today, I’m taking my readers along with me.
My first husband wasn’t the least bit handy which is to say, he was what you might call your basic hammer and tong man. If something didn’t fit, he pounded it into submission by virtue of sheer brute force. When it came to moving things, his idea was load stuff into the pickup and get ‘er done. Which is why the cushion for my relatively new platform rocker blew out of the load on I-10, somewhere between Bisbee and Tucson. Bungee cords were not his friend.
When we moved to the house on the hill in 1968, we inherited some appliances from my husband’s grandmother—a frost-free refrigerator and an automatic washing machine. They were working just fine when they left his grandmother’s home in Tempe, but by the time they arrived on the hill, having ridden in the back of the pickup ON THEIR SIDES! (Not recommended) they weren’t exactly work wise. The frost-free fridge was no longer frost free. In fact, it morphed into a semi-freezer and froze every vegetable I tried to store in it. Frozen cherry tomatoes? Those aren’t recommended, either.
As for the washer? It went from being an automatic washer to being a SEMI-automatic washer. Which is to say, the filling mechanism no longer functioned. It agitated just fine. And the spinner worked, too. But to fill it for either washing or rinsing, I had to carry buckets of water from the kitchen sink to the laundry room. That lasted for the better part of a year. Then, one fine summer’s day, during a monsoon thunderstorm, my washing machine got struck by lightning, never to work again.
And I couldn’t have been happier. I turned to my husband and said, “If God had wanted me to wash clothes, She wouldn’t have struck my washing machine with lightning.” And from then on, we packed up the dirty clothes every Thursday morning, dropped them off at the laundromat in Sells before school, and then picked them up again after school—washed, dried, folded, and ironed. Whoo-hoo!! Such a deal!
When we moved from the reservation to Pe Ell, there was a patch of rhubarb growing in the back yard. I asked my next door neighbor,Sophie, what I should do with it. “Oh, she said, “all you need is some sugar and tapioca to turn it into a pie.” It’s fair to say, that for pie you also need a pie crust. This would be in my make-it-from scratch days, and that’s how I made pies in Pe Ell.
But times change. Even though I CAN make pie crusts, I no longer do so. To quote myself from forty some years ago, “If God wanted me to make pie crusts, would She have created Pillsbury ready made ones?”
Colt’s rhubarb pie will be made with real rhubarb and a cheater crust, but that’s way better than no pie at all.
Thus endeth today’s trip down memory lane.