I just pulled this out of the oven. It is a strawberry rhubarb crumble. I saw a picture of one online the other day and I realized that I must make one. Strawberry rhubarb is absolutely and without a doubt one of the best combinations of flavor in the entire world.
In my opinion, anyway.
And I know I have talked about this before but it's absolutely because when I was a child living in Roseland and there was one restaurant in which to eat in the nearby area, strawberry rhubarb pie was the go-to desert. The restaurant was called The Anchor Restaurant and yes, there was an old, giant anchor out front with the big iron chain and everything. It was surrounded by huge cacti that made prickly pears every year that my brother and I would poke with a toothpick after supper to watch them bleed their crimson juices. It seems to me that large, rusty anchors were everywhere to be found in Indian River county in those days, adorning the front yards of many. I am not sure where they all came from. It was very much a fishing area being close to the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean but these anchors were big enough to hold an ocean liner in place.
Okay, okay. Not really but far bigger than most boats would require.
That's just a random photo I got off of the internet but that's what those anchors and their chains looked like.
Wait. What the hell was I talking about?
Oh yes. The anchor restaurant, strawberry rhubarb pie, and the crumble I just made. Okay. Here we are again.
Man, I had a tough morning. Everything hurt. My back, my legs, and also I kept wanting to cry. Then I realized that yes, of course, Jessie and the family were on their way up to NC and thus- my sadness. This is just a short trip before they go up for the summer. They are having a memorial service for an uncle of Vergil's and they also took a lot of stuff that they'll need this summer. The RV is already up there. So, I girded my loins and got on with my day.
I went to town to get a few things at Costco and Publix and I bought myself lunch at Maddio's pizza joint because I suddenly remembered the "gourmet" artichoke and spinach pizza I'd had there once and that's what I had today. As weird as I am about being in public places and spaces, I do not mind eating by myself in a restaurant. I take my magazine and I just enjoy myself.
When I came home I picked about another gallon and a half of green beans and I made that crumble and I put clean sheets on the bed. I've been listening to a book that is probably triggering me in certain areas. Abuse is mentioned often in the book, mostly sexual and domestic, and I feel so grateful that I never seriously dated or married a man who had the tendency towards control and physical violence. I was slapped once by a guy I dated in college for just the shortest amount of time and I will never forget that experience. I have no idea what I said or did that riled him but we were in a car with my dear friend and roommate and her boyfriend on our way to a Poco concert, I think, and he flat-out slapped me.
I had no idea what to do or think or even feel. Before that moment he had been the most genial and humorous of guys. But something triggered HIM and I was smacked.
I remember nothing about the rest of the evening and I do believe that was the last time I went out with him.
My step father did spank me at least once and it was an incredibly inappropriate situation. We'd spent a holiday weekend camping with friends and some of his coworkers, and I and a friend of mine from school developed a little crush on each other. I think we were probably about fifteen. We spent a lot of time with each other that weekend but it was entirely innocent and sweet but the stepfather was, I could tell, quite upset. In his eyes, I guess, I was his and seeing me being interested in and interested by a boy my age enraged him. When we got home after the weekend and it was time to unpack the camper, I, having the natural urge that having one's own bathroom can create, disappeared for a few minutes and when I got out, he yelled at me for not helping unload the camping stuff and then, he grabbed me, bent me over, and spanked me.
At the age of fifteen.
As I recall, my mother chastised him. "Charlie- what are you doing?" And I knew in my heart exactly why he felt the need to hit me and I came to hate and fear him even more and have dreams where I am terrified by him even now.
So exactly why I'm listening to this book I am not sure but I suppose it's good to let these memories surface and to examine them if possible. To know that what happened to me was so very wrong. And to be grateful that at least I never got seriously involved with a violent man. That, at least, has not been one of my problems but I surely know that many women who find themselves in that situation are not fools or stupid for not leaving their abusers. They have their reasons and whether or not we on the outside can see or understand them is not what's important. We can support these women in whatever ways we can but we cannot make them leave until they are ready. I have been on that side of the situation myself, and I know it's a lesson hard-learned.
Well, that was a rather depressing post. But truly, I am feeling fine now and it is martini time and oh, how I am looking forward to those clean sheets.
Happy Friday, y'all.
Mmm... strawberry and rhubarb does sound like a combination that would really work. Not a mixed flavour my taste buds have ever experienced.Your crumble looks delightful. I wish that "Blogger" included an aroma button.ReplyDelete
Mr P......there *must* be growing of rhubarb where you live? You must seek it out and make said crumble! You, who I know loves to cook.....give it a whirl! Susan MDelete
We live close to what is known in England as "The Rhubarb Triangle". I have never much liked rhubarb but with strawberries I think it might be different. I will give it a try. Thanks Susan.Delete
Yes, Mr. P. Make a pie or a tart or a crumble with strawberries and rhubarb. You might really like it.Delete
Susan- my attempt at growing celery was a failure so I'm not sure I could grow rhubarb.
not a depressing post, just very *real*. yes......we must support always, people who may be entwined in abusive relationships and have not yet been able to extricate themselves. Strawberry rhubarb crumble (or raspberry rhubarb) is one of my faves as well. Rhubarb- not sure if you grow it? or purchase it? is not as popular nor grown as often as in the past. My Mom used to grow it and always stewed it (never made a crumble) but stewed with sugar and then poured over yogurt or vanilla ice cream. Be still my heart. I tried growing it here for a while and tho it is deemed to be toxic and resistant to being devoured by animals.....mine got destroyed by gophers and that was the end of that venture. Happy Martini Friday and clean sheet day!ReplyDelete
I bet that raspberry and rhubarb would also marry well. I buy my rhubarb. It is in the store this time of year. But honestly, I only eat it a few times a year if that so growing it wouldn't make much sense even if I could. As I said above, my celery experiment was a dismal failure.Delete
I guess the gophers didn't get the memo about the toxicity situation.
Raspberry&rhubarb jam is the best thing I ever tasted.Delete
I admire how you are able to let these unpleasant memories rise up and that you can gently examine and deal with the emotions. Not an easy task but you are a wise, brave woman.ReplyDelete
I stripped beds today too. Among other things. I kept myself busy. I am sorry that today was a trigger day. It is not fun to respond viscerally to a situation and then try to tease through the emotions to figure out what is really going on. Or maybe you have a better handle on it than I do. My exhusband would hit when he got mad. I just took it for a while. Then one day, he flipped out about something. I mean, I was brushing my hair, and he was going bat shit about something, and before I could even think, I smacked him with my hairbrush. Gave him a black eye. He was so shocked. So was I really. We looked at each other and I said, "Sometimes when you mistreat a dog long enough, the dog bites you. Remember that."ReplyDelete
Good for you, Debby! I did hit my first husband once. With my hand. I am not proud of that but he deserved _something_ and he knew it and I didn't hit him very hard. I was just at that point where I could not take it anymore. I don't think that violence is ever the answer although when used in self-defense it makes more sense. This was not a situation like that, though. I shouldn't have done it.Delete
The things that trigger me the worst are situations where women are not believed when they report abuse or rape. I'm not sure why. But it goes a long way in explaining why I was triggered throughout Trump's presidency.
I am so not a fan of rhubarb, so you can have my share. And I'm glad the difficult day ends with clean sheets and martinis!ReplyDelete
One big reason women don't leave is that the threats escalate. The moment of leaving, until safely hidden, is when he is most likely to kill her. When I helped with people in this situation as an unwritten part of my job, I hid more than one woman to get her to safety. And if there are children, even harder. There are women who simply can't risk their children being motherless. It's as stark as that.
There's a reason women's shelters have reinforced metal doors.
Boud, I was cutting vegetables one Saturday afternoon when my drunken ex started in on me, and the thought flashed through my mind that I had a knife in my hand and "that's all it would take". But I instantly knew I couldn't leave me kids at his mercy, so you're right, women don't leave for a variety of reasons. Those that say "I cudda, wudda, shudda" don't know what the hell they're talking about!Delete
Boud- you put it starkly and truthfully. There is always that thought- "He will kill me if I leave." You are a brave woman to have helped other women to escape. Another thing to admire about you.Delete
And Treaders- you speak truth from experience. I am so glad you got rid of that horrible man.
I know that reading (or listening) does help even if they don't seem to at the time. At the very least you get reassured that you were not the only one and also by however the book turns out, you may learn a new coping method for when the memories surface. The spanking was wrong and I'm inclined to think it was just one more way for him to get his hands on you.ReplyDelete
I can't speak for martinis but I do love clean sheets day!
I think about the hard things a lot, actually. And talk about most of them openly. One of the first things I became quite sure of when I started therapy for abuse was that IT HAD NOT BEEN MY FAULT AND THE SHAME WAS NOT MINE TO BEAR!Delete
Now- am I a woman who feels no shame? Absolutely not. I know that somewhere along the line, shame became a default emotion for me but I know logically and clearly that I own no shame for the abuse. None.
You may be right about the man wanting to get his hands on me but I am telling you- he did truly think I was his. When I was finally allowed to date, he cried the first time I went out with a boy.
My mother thought it was so sweet and proof of how much he loved me.
As you know, my ex was a violent twat, mostly caused by the drink. But I would be in for it about twice a week and while I was very open about it, people who say "I wudda" don't know what they are talking about. I wanted to extract myself from that situation with as little collateral damage as possible. Hell I even earned more than him, but the fact that he could and would keep me awake often for 23 hours a day just wore me down and I didn't have the energy to move forward. Him cheating on me with his fat ankled skank was the best thing that ever happened to me and even she left him after three years because of the violence. It makes me wonder how it's working out now he's back in the States. Maybe he isn't so "brave" now that there is family around! Who knows, I don't care, I just thank God there's an ocean between us!ReplyDelete
I was truly amazed at how well you treated him when he visited lately. I have no idea how you did it. You have incredible forbearance.Delete
my father slapped me once. I was 19, this was the summer after I got kicked out of college for smoking pot and was back living at my parent's house and I had been at a party and it was late, probably around 2 and I was tired, had been smoking pot, and I was wearing a shirt I had not left in and was not mine because mine had had a drink spilled on it and the guy whose house it was gave me a dry one to wear. both parents were awake, my father called me into their room to interrogate me, asked what happened to my shirt, I told him, he said I should have come home instead, called me a whore, and slapped me in the face. my mother was silent until then when I think she said Jack, that's enough, or something like that. I went to my room. this incident followed the one when they came to pick me up from college (I was to leave immediately) they made me get in the front seat between them while my father yanked up my long sleeves and checked my arms for tracks because obviously I was a lying drug addict. That just infuriated me. what a fucking insult! anyway that summer was one of the worst of my life. the whole next year really. I continued to smoke pot and do acid and they never had a clue but my father would come home from the lab just about every night with some horror story about some kid on drugs. incidentally, that party was where I met the guy I would lose my virginity to. not because I was in love with him or anything, just felt it was time to dispense with that.ReplyDelete
Oh Ellen! You and your parents were a horrible match. Another point we can relate on. Your dad was a real jerk, wasn't he? What kind of a father strikes his 19-year old daughter? And checking you for tracks because you'd been smoking pot. I am not sure I knew you were kicked out of college. What college did you go to? I went to University of Denver and if they'd kicked out all the kids who got high there they would have had about five students left. I don't recall anyone getting in trouble.Delete
I truly thought I loved the guy whom I gave my virginity to. I mean, really. I look back on that now and think, "Thank god I never got pregnant."
That looks like a delicious crumble!ReplyDelete
I am glad you have found loving men to be with. You are such a loving person, Mary.
Oh, honey. They weren't all loving. Trust me. The loving ones were few and far between and it took me a lot of growing up before I stopped thinking that the bad boys were what I wanted. I'm so glad I finally did.Delete
37paddington: You broke the cycle. You did that. Isn’t it weird how missing our children can make us feel a little fragile?ReplyDelete
So hard to find fresh Rhubarb in the Stores now, and Yes, it's the perfect companion to Strawberries. As for Triggers, they never really go away, yet, breaking cycles that cause them is always a good thing and you've done that.ReplyDelete
I've been very fortunate in that I have never dealt with much domestic violence. I never dated anyone who hit me or anyone I hit. I honestly think I would have just walked away forever had it happened, but of course it's easy to say that.ReplyDelete
My father spanked me a handful of times, but not after elementary school. My mother once spanked me with a plastic strap (the handle off an old Easter basket -- the psychological implications!) and little did she know it had two loose staples in the end. So I had marks afterwards, and she felt terribly guilty and was very apologetic. She threw that strap out.