Today is a red letter day, or rather a red rhubarb day- the day we get to eat the first fruit (or rather, vegetable) of the year. From today until the end of October I can be pretty confident that when I’m at home I’ll be able to eat something from the vegetable garden every day.
Last year I moaned that the rhubarb was a fortnight late and I blamed the lateness on the exceptionally hard winter. I must have been wrong, because this winter has been even harder but the rhubarb is on time, even a little earlier than usual. I think now that the determining factor must be the warmth of the spring.
There’s a variety called Timperley Early, which is recommended by one of the regulars at the Riverside Hotel as a reliable early cropper, and one of the best varieties to force. Every year at this time, when I’ve enjoyed the first of Margaret’s rhubarb pies I remind myself to plant some Timperley Early, so that I can enjoy it a month earlier. And every year I completely forget about it until the next year.