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Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I part the elephant ear sized leaves. Finding the red and green hued stalk, I give it a gentle tug. It pulls away from the crown of the plant. I hold the tender stalk with its huge leaf. I fan myself the way I imagine Cleopatra was cooled by her servants with their feathered fans. I continue to pull several more stalks. I only need two cups for my strawberry rhubarb pie, with the rest, I will make rhubarb sauce. With a quick thwack from my sharp knife, I lop off the leaves and the ends.

I check my strawberry bed. Still not red enough to pick. I will have to make do with the store-bought ones. While they are large and bright red, their taste pales by comparison to the ones that are slowly ripening in my backyard garden. Back inside, I wash the rhubarb and the strawberries and begin to chop.

“Who died?” my husband asks as he walks into the kitchen.

“Tessa’s aunt. Service is this afternoon,” I reply. This was the fifth pie I’d made this month.

“Why don’t you make something easy like brownies?” he says and grabs a blueberry muffin that I’d baked from last year’s blueberry crop.

“Because, doing this gives me time to think about the people. The ones who have passed and the ones who are left. If I made something quick, I wouldn’t have time to let my mind remember them, and why they’re in my life. And when you eat a piece of pie, it takes you a little longer, than if it was a two-bite brownie. Pie allows you to take a moment and maybe share that moment with someone,” finished with chopping, I drop the diced fruit into the sugar and tapioca mix, add some fresh orange zest, a bit of cinnamon and then stir. The pie dough is waiting to transform this fragrant mix into a ten-inch circle of golden crusted filled sweetness.

“And that’s why I love you,” he said, as he kissed on the cheek, and took another muffin as he headed out the door.

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