Growing up in Ft. Lauderdale, I was used to drinking unsweet tea. That’s how it comes when you order tea at a restaurant down there. So, when I moved to “The South,” I got used to having to clarify UN-sweet tea, because here they automatically serve up sweet tea unless you specify. When I was in my mid-twenties, though, I hit a sort of pre-midlife crisis, traveling all around the United States in a little Nissan pickup. When I got up to the Northern border states, I found that when I ordered up my usual UN-sweet tea, they always gave me a sweet tea. The first few times it happened, I just thought I was getting awful service. Then, it occurred to me, You jack-ass! You’re in the North. Here, their default is un-sweet tea. So, when I was saying,
“I’ll have some un-sweet tea,” they were hearing me say, “I’ll have some… uhhh, sweet tea.”
Wait, where was I going with this? Oh, right! It was a waitress at a restaurant in one of these states, who got my tea order wrong (I believe it was in North Dakota), where I was offered a Rhubarb Pie for the first and only time in my entire life.
It truly is a Northerners pie, I suppose, so I guess it makes sense that I wouldn’t have come across it at all in a land of pecan and key lime pies. In fact, coming across a rhubarb at all here was almost too much to ask today. My fruit guy at Publix took five minutes trying to dig a box of them out of the back.
Now, it turns out that Rhubarb Pie is a tough thing to pull off because it’s super gooey with all those fruit juices running all through it. I would have much preferred if Village Inn had carried one. Their website says they do, but probably not the franchises this far South. The recipe that I yanked off the web claimed to fix the goo-factor that I was well warned about, and it did, but the crust busted up pretty severe, so sorry for the lousy photo up top. In all fairness to the author of the recipe, I just bought some generic frozen things, and she made her own. All in all, it’s as advertised, though. It’s sweet, tart, and just a bit funky. The rhubarb part tastes like a really sour apple, but it’s tempered by the strawberries and sugars so everything that goes on in your mouth just kind of works out. Why, with all those natural ingredients kicking around in there, it almost feels like you’re eating healthy!
See you Monday for National German Chocolate Cake Day!