the rest of the rhubarb

Every day I wake up, walk to Kensington Market, and sit and write in a café for a few hours. I have officially started writing the first chapter of my dissertation, and it feels as if all of the interesting things I have to say at the moment are being deposited there, which leaves me at a loss for what to write here. I used to write mostly about film and being-towards-death but these days I am writing about film and schizophrenia and waiting for a man who will never arrive, and suddenly, unexpectedly, also about the joy and labour of domestic life, about cooking and gardening and the implications of recording the minutiae of the everyday, especially if you’re a woman. So for the next while my posts might be rather straightforward – I do not want this blog to feel like work.
 So let’s talk about rhubarb. I realize that we are just about at the end of rhubarb season, and that I should probably tell you about the rhubarb recipes I haven’t had the chance to post about yet. There was of course the rhubarb semifreddo and rhubarb gin. I’ve also been adding raw rhubarb chunks to Marion Cunningham’s nutmeg muffins that I wrote about here, and I think they make pretty splendid gifts for anyone you owe something to. Once rhubarb season hits I find myself buying stalks whenever I see some, struck by the seasonal panic of spring, terrified that the next time I hit the store there won’t be any left and it’ll be a year before I get to touch a rhubarb recipe again. Which means that during weeks where I really should not be involved in elaborate cooking projects I am faced with what the fuck to do with all the rhubarb I bought that is now obstructing the fridge door from closing properly. So I end up roasting vast amounts of rhubarb during summer, to use in different ways. Some of it we blitz to a pulp and drink with club soda (pretty, pink), some we eat with yoghurt and granola for breakfast. I also like to use it for topping cakes – plain white cake (Smitten Kitchen’s best birthday cake recipe is my Platonic ideal in this regard), cream cheese icing, and slivers of roasted rhubarb. I pretty much always roast rhubarb in the same way, from a recipe originally found in Rose Bakery’s Breakfast Lunch Tea (my Platonic ideal of a cookbook, fyi). Rose Carrarini has you chop up the rhubarb and mix it with some sugar, some orange juice and a vanilla pod, and through roasting you keep the colour that so often gets lost if you do it on the stovetop.
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The other rhubarb project I attempted was Yossy Areffi’s rhubarb and rosewater galette from Sweeter off the Vine. The galettes others have made from the book have been amazing (thinking in particular of the sublime sour cherry galette Lindsay made this weekend, and that I had the pleasure to eat), but mine kind of fucked out, largely because of my lack of pastry skills. To make your day better, go look at Lindsay’s galette on Instagram, here.

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