My grandma used to make the best strawberry rhubarb pie. According to Wikipedia, rhubarb is an “herbaceous perennial plant growing from short, thick rhizomes… Fresh raw stalks are crisp (similar to celery) with a strong tart taste.” Similar to celery, but the stalks are entirely red in color.
I’m not sure who first envisioned the pairing of strawberries and rhubarb in a pie, but my grandmother perfected it. Everything was prepared just so: the crust flaky, delicate, delicious on its own; the rhubarb tart, the strawberries always the sweetest of the season.
I’ve often wondered what made her pie so good, me being someone with a “sweet tooth,” and I think it simply was the love. To say that grandma loved to bake is a monumental understatement. While she was baking, it seemed that she lived to bake. But she did it for love. You see, strawberry rhubarb is her daughter’s (my mom’s) favorite, so she would make it every year for her when she came to visit. Thus, something made with such love, how could I not love it, too? Much tarter than I usually care for, but I loved it.
Now, insofar as I know, grandma’s recipe is a secret.
Insofar as I know, mom hasn’t tasted a strawberry rhubarb pie as good in twelve years.
What I do know for sure is that it isn’t the pie we miss.