Saturday, June 16, 2012

This is not Rhubarb

Man is the most intelligent of animals... and the most silly. -- Diogenes
Back in the ol' days, I was a straight A student. Learnin' has always come easy by me. But there was one thing I never, ever forgot:

It doesn't take much to topple a smart aleck.

I'm having some friends over for dinner tomorrow, and I'm planning on making some chicken curry, basmati rice, and maybe try my hand at some homemade naan. The curry recipe I'm using uses bell peppers, but one of my friends can't eat them. I'm always really, really careful when it comes to other people's food intolerances, so I've spent all week thinking about what I might use instead.

Today, at the supermarket, I came upon some rhubarb, and thought, I can use that instead. I've never used it, but it's got a similar consistency, and will add a good flavour. I know of people who have used it in their curries as well. Into my shopping basket it went.

Here's when the toppling process began.

The problem was that I was really, really tired and grumpy. Hubby took the basket from me to go pay for the items within, whilst I wandered off to go look at the magazines. As I walked away, I heard him calling me from the cashier, saying, "What is this?"

I was immediately annoyed. Surely people who work in a supermarket ought to know what is in their store, I huffed. The cashier next to them told them the information they needed, and in a few minutes, grumpy me and hubby were back in the car and heading home.

This afternoon, I did the laundry, pulled some weeds in the garden, then came inside and had a much-needed nap on the couch. And when I woke up, I was in a much better frame of mind. I bounded off the couch and got a few things ready for dinner, and then pulled out the rhubarb from the fridge to inspect it.

Having never cooked rhubarb before, I knew I should probably look up how to use it, because somewhere in the back of my mind, I remembered that the leaves are toxic. I searched online and found some videos of people using it in recipes, and remarked to myself how small the stalks were on my rhubarb. Hmm, maybe I got ripped off, I said to myself. I didn't get very good rhubarb at all.


Here's where the toppling actually happened.

I said to the hubby, "So, I don't really know how to cook this rhubarb. I'm a little scared of using it."

"What?" he said. "When did you get rhubarb?"

"At the supermarket today," I snorted in utter disbelief of his ignorance.

"You mean the swiss chard?" he said.

"The... the what?" I said

"I don't know when you got rhubarb, but the thing you got today at the supermarket was swiss chard, according to the cashier."

I looked at him dumbly. "Maybe I better check..."

And after one search online, there I was: toppled. But relieved. Because I know how to cook swiss chard. And no part of it is toxic. And that is a good thing, because apparently, I could not identify rhubarb to begin with, and we'd probably all be sick because I wouldn't know what the heck I was doing.



So, I'm a silly thing. But maybe not, because today I also figured out a use for a big vase that's been sitting in my living room empty for a few years:


Ha! Maybe I'm not so stupid after all!

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