Too Much Learning

Interesting thoughts from May 16, 1985.  I have similar feelings about many things.


Things I wish I’d never learned:

  1. How to peel asparagus to make the bottom part of the stalk edible. Thanks to Julia Child in the Sunday magazine I now feel guilty when I throw away the tough part of the stalk and feel even worse when I stand at the sink peeling away to gain two more inches of usable asparagus.
  2. How to paint a ceiling.
  3. How to mend sox. If I’d never started Pa wouldn’t be so upset by the sock mending moratorium I’ve declared.

Things I wish others would learn:

  1. I wish Luke, our watch dog, would learn to leave skunks strictly alone. Or if he insists on being friendly with them he would soothe his injured feelings somewhere else than in the garage right by the kitchen door.

Things I wish I’d learn:

  1. How much work a vegetable garden a half block square is.
  2. How to expand time.
  3. That grandchildren have more energy than I do.
  4. To walk right past a bargain and keep going. Recently I spotted the most wonderful bargain ever – 1984 garden seed marked down to two cents a package. Most of the seed was mustard greens, but what the heck! I grew up in the depression and can eat anything, though I’d never tried mustard greens.

On the nutrition charts they show an enormous amount of vitamin A and hardly any calories so I bought three packets.

That seed may have been old, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t fertile. Everyone of those microscopic black little fellows sprouted and fell in love with our sandy loam and took off growing. Oh, they were beautiful plants – a soft pale green with an adorable ruffled edge.

In almost no time at all I cut some and cooked up a mess of greens. After dousing them with vinegar I tasted them. Without a doubt those mustard greens were the bitterest thing ever grown. Out they went to the compost pile.

Since that, a friend told me that I should have drained the greens and put them in a skillet and them again with some bacon. I’m going to try her method, but just in case you are a mustard green lover, give me a call. The second and third planting will soon be ready.

Here are a few rhubarb recipes this week:


Rhubarb Bread
1 egg 1 ½ cup brown sugar
6 tablespoons margarine, melted 1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons milk 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cup white flour 1 ¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups diced raw rhubarb
Beat sugar and egg. Add margarine, sour cream, milk and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients. Beat into first mixture. Fold in rhubarb.Pour batter into a greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees or 1 hour or until done. Cool. Yield: 10 slices
Rhubarb Sauce
Wash, cut off leaves and stem end of rhubarb. Cut into ½ inch pieces. Use half as much sugar as fruit. Add small amount water and cook until soft. If desired, flavor with grated and rind of orange.Another method is to boil 2 cups sugar and 1 cup water, add 4 cups rhubarb and simmer until rhubarb is tender.Hint: Pour boiling water over rhubarb. Let stand 5 minutes, drain, and use less sugar.
Baked Rhubarb
Place 2 cups sugar and 4 cups sliced rhubarb in baking dish. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
Rhubarb with Berries
Use equal parts of cut rhubarb and any fresh berry. Add sugar to taste. Let stand 1 or more hours. Heat slowly until sugar is dissolved. Cook until rhubarb is tender. Cool and serve.Raspberries, strawberries or mulberries may be used.
Rhubarb with Pineapple
Use equal parts of diced rhubarb and fresh diced pineapple. Add 1 ½ cups sugar to 4 cups fruit. Let stand 1 or more hours. Heat until sugar is dissolved. Cook until tender. Cool and serve.

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