The cold weather hasn’t stopped the rhubarb.
Pretty much everything else in the gardens on Pender is struggling to keep up. Penderites often tout our rock as Canada’s Mediterranean — our position in the rain shadow between Vancouver Island and the mainland means that we see less rainfall than the rest of the Pacific Northwest. We’re generally a couple of degrees warmer too.
At least that`s what we claim — and most years it’s true. But while Howard and I were off gallivanting around the UK, enjoying cloudless blue skies and unseasonably warm temperatures, we’re told that Pender’s rain shadow lost the plot completely. It rained almost everyday we were gone, and it’s just as cold here now as when we left for our trip in mid-April.
And so, along with the seeds everyone planted in March/April (as per usual), the humans of Pender are in a state of shock, wearing rain gear as a second skin and contemplating our woodpiles. Do we really need a fire tonight? It’s the end of May…enough already!
Except for the rhubarb. It’s very happy indeed. Mine, shown above, is actually puny compared to the stalks available at the Farmer’s Market this past Saturday. The growers tell me the secret is manure, and lots of it. I know the manure would help, but first I have to get at the weeds that have been moving in for the past 2 years.
You see, I’ve decided that I can cook food or I can grow it — I can’t do both — and the truth is that I’m a much better cook than gardener. While the lack of circulation in my hands may result in flaky pastry, it also makes my thumbs more blue than green, if you know what I mean.
The idea for this rhubarb barbecue sauce came from a friend. As the words floated from her lips, visions of blackened pork loins basted on the grill, then doused with a final dip before serving, floated before my eyes — a must make.
Daydreams rarely work out as well as this sauce. It’s thick, with a good balance of sweet and tang. And as soon as I took it off the stove, the clouds parted, and the sun’s rays immediately found the barbecue on the deck.
That’s what I call a good omen.
This sauce is liberally adapted from a 2008 Washington Post recipe.
(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)