Yahoo! The sweet & sour stalk of American pie and jam legend lives and breathes in the archipelago!
Someone gave me this fresh rhubarb today that I’m thinking to pie-ify soon. My main concern now is the oven. I’ve baked cookies in these cubby-hole contraptions that double as real ovens besides being toasters and microwaves (very tedious, involving temperature conversion, adjustment and re-preheating every four cookies, juggling sheets and cooling racks), but never a whole pie, which at least is one piece instead of a few dozen. I’ll have to find out exactly where, but I do know it was bought locally.
Silly Stalks: A Little Background
Writing this blog often leads to serendipitous learning, and this time was no exception. Out of curiosity, I checked Wikipedia, and found out that although rhubarb is normally considered a vegetable, since 1947 in New York State it’s legally a fruit since it’s mostly used as one.
Beyond that, Wikipedia reports that
In British theatre and early radio drama, the words “rhubarb rhubarb” were repeated for the effect of unintelligible conversation on the background.
“Rhubarb” was [also] a 1969 British short film written and directed by Eric Sykes, starring Sykes and Harry Secombe. The dialogue consisted entirely of repetitions of the word “rhubarb”, all the characters last names were “Rhubarb”, and even the license plates on vehicles were “RHU BAR B.”
As I’ve been becoming a bit of a connoisseur of background chatter, it’s a bit of a letdown to think that a bunch of nothing but rhubarb could have been just as effective as the real thing. I wonder if they used varied intonation. It’s no surprise Sykes was a cohort of the Goon Show gang, predecessors of Monty Python.