It’s our anniversary, and I’m completely unprepared. The social worker at work is having none of my excuses.
“Do something special for him!” She says, “It is important in a marriage to keep things fresh! You will thank me later.”
I have some rhubarb in the fridge. Rhubarb is different, rhubarb is…”special”…
My husband is always complimenting my pancakes…
(*cue the foreboding music*)
I search the internet for some recipes. Oddly, they are generally for serving pancakes with rhubarb, like on the side, or as a compote. Can’t seem to find any with rhubarb embedded into the pancakes. Hmm…wait, found one!*
Just a few minor adjustments, a little zazz, some cinnamon, ginger…
Hey, this is looking good!
I take a bite. The rhubarb bites back, all tart and angry! Hey, rhubarb, what gives?
I try thinner pancakes. Maybe rhubarb will cook down, chill out a bit.
But these are just uglier.
I get desperate. Sal will wake up soon! I try straining rhubarb from the batter, dumping in honey, throwing in sugar –
it’s all going terribly wrong.
I fry the rhubarb, gently, trying to coax out the sweet zingyness I know is in there!
I put the mixture back in the batter, and try the pancakes again. They’re pitiful, so thin – crepe-like but without the delicate Frenchness of real crepes.
I have, as we say in Appalachia, a “come to Jesus” moment. This is not “special”. This is gross.
I have to get rid of the evidence. I have to dispose of them, quietly and quickly, because Sal will literally eat anything to spare my feelings.
I wash up everything. Sal comes into the clean kitchen, blinking sleepily.
“Let’s go out for brunch!” I say.
He smiles. “Ok!”
Rhubarb, you win this time.
*I did not include the link to the recipe I used, because this experiment was a dire failure.
N.B. – one of my dear readers and colleagues lent me a lovely Jamie Oliver book after reading “Right, rhubarb“. I left it at work, of course. I’d like to thank her and our social worker for their good-intentioned advice / ideas. This advice, although providing inspiration for the above Rhubarb Catastrophe, was in no way a contributor to the end result. For this, I blame myself. And my dad. For passing on his nefarious Mad Scientist gene to me.