The rhubarb sat on the counter for a day: A gift offered from the neighbor in the back, diagonal. She asked, “Do you like rhubarb?”
In years past her children liked rhubarb jam, but they don’t have time or interest in that anymore. It sat on the counter for 29 hours, several times passed with thought to move it to the fridge, but it didn’t.
Sunday evening, and eyes turning toward dinner, there they sat, still crisp. It seemed a shame not to do something with it, though wilted rhubarb has been used for pies, or jams, or crumbles or muffins, and those have always turned out fine — it freezes fine, too, but it becomes a wimpy, slimy thing: In the end, that’s all it really is.
It seemed discourteous to let it reach that point, unbeknownst or not. So dinner was slightly delayed by guilty pleasure — sugar cannot really be cut back a lot with rhubarb: SIL coughed on the first bite and gave herself a few esophageal pounds, “Gets ya right in the… It’s good, though.”
Even with tapioca, it was runny. Mom always said a good pie always was. As always they are, it was — with just a slice remaining, held reserved for Mom.