Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Rhubarb + Eyebrows = Total Lack of Couth

Note: I've decided to dispense with the plethora of linkage for now because I don't have the time to blog AND come up with funny links. But they'll be back where appropriate!

My husband and I got our first box of vegetable goodness yesterday from the CSA we joined. For you non-aware types, CSA stands for "community support agriculture," and basically you pay for a subscription at the beginning of the summer, giving the farmer much-needed capital at the beginning of the growing season rather than at the end of the harvest season. Then every week, or every two weeks, you get a big box o' veggies, fresh-picked that morning, from a local farm. Our CSA is about 10 miles from here and, like most CSAs, grows organic veggies. It's fabtacular. (Find one near you here.) They're great programs because you get local, fresh, in-season vegetables that are farmed sustainably by small family farms. Save the earth, save the economy, save yourself from scary carcinogens and neurotoxins typically used on agriculture. Plus, compared to what you pay for organic vegetables in the market, they're a STEAL. And in most places, the fresh organic produce you get from the CSA is pretty comparable in cost to the scary, dingy, shipped-from-some-South-American-country, six-day-old, carcinogen-soaked, non-organic vegetables you get at the market. But I digress.

So our first box is mostly salad greens, as it's so early in the season and it's been such a STRANGE growing season here in Central Illinois so far this year. (Hey, digression #2 for you locals - Central Illinois was one of the birthplaces of organic farming in the US, and has a whole bunch of great organic farms ... plus some organic livestock. Check out the local tastiness here, and you will just absolutely die to get your chops on some of those organic meat cuts from Organic Pastures!) But we also got some lemon balm, some green onions, and ... some rhubarb.

Rhubarb. It's fun just to say it. It's allegedly named for the "Rha" River, the ancient name of the Volga, which was in a barbarian ("barb") part of the world ... at least according to those ol' Romans. But rhubarb and I do not have a great relationship, despite it's tart-tasting goodness and perfect matchiness with strawberry pie.

You see - and I can't believe I'm about to tell this story in print - rhubarb makes me fart like crazy.

My grandmother made spectacular strawberry-rhubarb pies, and for my uncle's 50th birthday, we naturally had his favorite strawberry-rhubarb pies in place of a cake. Well, imagine my dismay when a few minutes after eating this delicacy, I found my guts a-grumbling, my belly a-bloated ... and my farts a-farting. In the middle of a family reunion. I tried to be subtle, leaving the room, releasing gas quietly. But one of my little toddling cousins came over and banged me in the belly with his head as he hugged me, setting off a report like a gun-shot from my tortured colon.

Immediately the head of every 9-and-under boy relative swiveled to face me, as I turned crimson with embarassment. They shortly thereafter discovered that poking me GENTLY in the belly would cause the fart machine to fart audibly. It didn't matter how gently they poked, I farted. I fled, they followed. Then the older boys (including my husband!) got in on this game and started picking me up with their arms around my middle, which compressed the bloated belly and of course led to ever more farting. They would then complain bitterly about my lack of manners!

So I spent the next THREE HOURS with incredible belly pain, trying to dodge a cadre of young and not-so-young male relatives who thought poking me in the belly and getting a fart for their pains was the funniest game ever. And I could only dodge them so fast because, well, if I moved too fast ... I farted.

I haven't had rhubarb since.

But I think I will be making a strawberry-rhubarb pie. I just think I'll make my husband eat the whole thing.

And maybe poke him in the belly and see what happens.

1 comment:

Star said...

Oh dear! ((((Eyebrows!))))

Tim and I thought about joining a CSA, but we found out about it only a couple of weeks before payments were due... At $500 for a two-person share, we couldn't scrape together that much in one chunk in time. Not without dipping into savings, anyway, but we're just finally getting a good start there and didn't feel it would be a good idea. So now that we know it's there, we're going to remember this next year and have the money saved up in advance. It really does sound like an awesome thing.