Spring Rhubarb

It’s spring again.  Actually I think it’s been spring for quite a long time now.  We just drove up to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia for a two day adventure – sure, 12 hours driving up on Sunday, 12 hours driving back home yesterday.  Doesn’t everyone do stuff like that?  It’s all surreal to me.  How can we be in York, Maine – all the way down the coast next to New Hampshire at 8:00 in the morning and then be way the heck up in another country for dinner?  Turow NS.  Yesterday morning we popped back into the car for the drive out to Lunenburg just past Halifax – shut down, total fog no less.  One of Paul’s selling points to get me to accompany him was the “it’s so beautiful, your going to love it, all water and coast line, etc.” didn’t see a bit of it.  It looked exactly like mid coast Maine in the summer!  Been there, done that a zillion times.  It was pretty though.  I just love the way the people we met spoke – they have a beautiful lilt to their words…kind of laid back and peaceful sounding.  There was no rush.  In fact we stopped in the middle of a cute little street in Chester, Nova Scotia to ask a person if he knew where we could get breakfast.  Well, he came over, leaned on the car and speculated the whole deal for about 15 minutes with lots of directions and pointing – all while a truck patiently waited for him to remove his butt from the tiny roadway.  Loved it. On the ride home I did get to read half of my food safety book that I’m studying.  I need to get re certified for food safety.  After reading just one page I was questioning weather I would be able to eat road food ever again.  Now that I am half way through I’m sure eating out is not on my agenda.  It’s scary out there!

Ah, the reason we went you may wonder?  There is this guy up there called Arthur Dauphinee who makes wooden blocks for sail boats.  The project Paul has been working on, the gundalow, needed all the blocks that had been ordered months ago – need them now, like last week type of thing.  Paul, the quick fix guy of course said we will go get them.  Otherwise it would have been many weeks more and I’m quite sure no one else would have done the drive.  Off we went.  It was fun – while in Canada I had this odd sense that it was the end of summer – everything was kind of brown and gray and since we were away allot this winter down south I just felt as though we must be heading into fall by now.  It was surprising to realize it really is just spring.  Such odd weather we have this year.  The Canadians we overheard speaking in a restaurant were talking about how they didn’t need to change out their tires this year, hence saving rotation costs, etc. Kind of interesting.  It looks like they would have lots of snow when they do – end of the earth so to speak.  Anyhow, back to this Arthur guy – Paul was so concerned trying to get ahold of him to ask if the blocks were ready – he never answered his phone and then was told the phone was out of order.  Paul was worried he died.  First, he likes the guy and has a lifelong association with him regarding blocks, second he said the guy was as old as the hills 35 years ago when he last saw him. 

The phone was out because he just didn’t bother to pay his bill.  Pretty simple, he didn’t care, said it was the most blissful two weeks he’s ever had.  Second, he wasn’t as old as the hills he’s just “crusty” like all of them, Paul included.  I was so surprised to see this guy not much older than me and he has one child, just turned 13!  These boat builder/block builder/northern nautical types, they wear nasty old things that feel good.  I’m constantly on Paul to change his clothes.  But, you know, they “clean up good” as our daughter likes to say.  I love it.  No pretension there just boys wearing their play clothes.  It never really changes.

I have some photos but am having a problem downloading them….perhaps tomorrow I’ll get them on and randomly insert.

Last Saturday Heather, Gina and I whipped into our catering mode and did a dinner party for 27.  That was exhausting.  The party itself is the easy part, it’s the brain part for me that wears me down.  Trying to execute it all and prior planning, shopping, cooking, quantities, etc.  It’s not easy.  It’s so much easier doing this type of work when you have a dedicated space for it, like a cafe.  I am a freak about getting it right though and as I’m the only one who cooks it all….yiiikes my feets and legs are tired from standing so much.  But, it’s what I do and seems like what I have always done.

We served those cookie canapes I showed a picture of.  Big hit and delish.  Those need to be made ahead and kept in the freezer for moments when you need something to go with wine – they really are terrific.  For dessert we served Rhubarb/Anise Upside Down Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream.  I love beginnings and endings – forget that stuff in the middle.

So, back to the rhubarb – as of last Saturday we had just what the top picture showed in the garden.  This morning, just 3 days later after the 88 degree heat here we have loads of rhubarb ready to go.  Off to the store to get some strawberries so Paul can have his spring Strawberry/Rhubarb pie, his fav.


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