I am eight years old. The plate is full of salted herring, potatoes and pungent onion rings. Except for the onion, this was supposedly what my father ate while growing up. I look away from my plate towards my father and back again. He is eating it like it's the last food on earth. After growing up myself I can only say that the last food on earth probably would be exactly that; salted herring and potatoes. The raw, pungent onion would be long gone.
On the calendar it was 1974 and pizza was still a few years away from being the staple of an eight year old's dreams. I couldn't even wish for pizza! Life is sometimes cruel.
In an attempt to make us kids eat anything at all, my mother makes white sauce to go with the herring and potatos. It helps a lot. The food disappears somewhat reluctantly from the plate and settles in small unexpecting bellies.
Then something happens. My mother produces a white 5 liter bucket from the refrigerator. I couldn't see, but she might just have had a sly grin on her face. It's stewed rhubarb! After herring and potatos, stewed rhubarb is like battle dressing.
Sometimes it's easy to make an eight year old boy happy.
Stewed rhubarb is easy to make. It's down there with boiled egg, tea water and breakfast cereals. During the hot season (if you have those) it is refreshing in a cool and tart way. A pleasant way of finishing a meal.
What you need:
- 1500g / 3.3lbs of rhubarb stalks
- 400g / 0.8lbs of sugar
- 1 liter / 34 fl.oz. of water
What to do:
Mix the water and the sugar and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes after boiling. Wash and skin the rhubarb stalks, then cut them in 4-5 cm/2 inches long bits. Add the rhubarb stalks to the water and let them tender for 10 minutes. Serve cold in a bowl topped with whole milk or whipped cream. Be sure to put sugar on the table in case someone thinks the stew is too tart.
You don't have to eat salted herring and potatoes before having stewed rhubarb. I certainly don't anymore.