I’ve always been a little…different.
I blame the curly hair. There is something about being blessed (errr…cursed?) with natural, tightly-woven tendrils that automatically makes you a little kinky. A little crazy. And a little different. Being called “Cloudhead” by your peers surely doesn’t help the frizz situation, although I blame Mama Everythingtarian for thinking curly bangs was a good idea. Curly bangs on a girl who didn’t use hair product until 7th grade, much less. She should have known better.
I didn’t talk until I was almost four years old. When I wanted something, per se a popsicle, I would grunt. A mini Rick Ross in training, you might say.
I was a voracious reader. I’ve read all 131 Babysitter’s Club (BSC) books…not including the super specials or mysteries. I obviously wanted to be Stacey McGill or Mary Anne Spier (just so I could date Logan), but now looking back, I realize I did always have a soft spot for nerdy, red curly-haired Mallory. Have you seen this article? Read it. Now.
I get weird ailments like blocked ureter tubes, infected sebacious cysts and crazy staph infections. Seriously, why can’t I ever just catch a regular cold? This confounds me to this day.
My life, like my hair, is often unmanageable.
I don’t mean to sound self-indulgent or trite, but my path in life seems a bit more wind-y than most. It’s not straight or narrow…it’s long, curvy and dotted with many port-a-potties and rest stops. Hey, you still gotta pee when taking the long way! It takes me longer to figure things out and get things straight and be okay with all of that before I arrive at any given destination.
It is my path, and I am getting there. Every.single.day.
And while I’ll never admit this to my mother, I kind of like all the twists and turns. How many people can say they’ve dated a gay tap dancer? I CAN!
All of this…this is why I love rhubarb.
Rhubarb is curly hair!
Rhubarb is a little bit pink, a little bit red and a little bit green. It’s weird. It’s tart. It’s bitter. It looks like celery…only it’s not. It pops up for a short time every spring to remind us of it’s unmatched uniqueness – long stalks with a clear, crisp bite that screams summer is on the way. A vegetable AND a fruit that only requires a hefty does of sugar to result in something tangy and sweet.
It may not read BSC books or boast curly bangs, but rhubarb is kooky different.
Rhubarb, welcome to the curly girls club.
Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp
adapted from The Ultimate Apple Crisp
5 to 6 stalks rhubarb, diced
1 (10-oz) carton strawberries, quartered
3/4 cup sugar
3 T flour
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
vanilla Greek yogurt or ice cream, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, mix rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, 3 T flour, zest and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a another bowl, mix butter, brown sugar, oatmeal, 1 1/2 cups flour, soda, powder and salt with your fingers. Cut butter into the dry ingredients with your fingers until mixture is crumbly.
In a greased 9×13-inch pan, pour rhubarb mixture into an even layer. Top with crumble topping. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until crumble topping is golden brown. To serve, top with Greek yogurt or ice cream.
Makes 12 to 16 slices