Rhubarb

Fourteen years ago, I asked readers to send in their favorite rhubarb recipes, and enough of them came in so that they ran over three Wednesdays, traditionally food day in the Life section.

I don’t remember any of this, of course. It was 14 years ago, after all. And I would not remember what happened yesterday if it were not for the fact that for the second weekend in a row, my sister made and served an incredibly good rhubarb bar recipe that had been sent in by a reader answering my request.

The sad part is that my sister could have been making this recipe for the last 14 years but dallied in trying it out. The glad part is that I cannot imagine how much we all would weigh if she had been doing that.

It’s that good.

She made it first the weekend before last. When my other sister and I retreated to the kitchen to do dishes, somehow a couple more pieces disappeared from the pan. And the winner at a subsequent card game chose more dessert as his prize. And two more pieces were sent home with my visiting nephew and me, and they didn’t make it past 10:30 p.m.

So a belated but heartfelt thank you goes to Alice Lynch of Clark for sharing her recipe in1999. Good things DO come to those who wait.

Alice Lynch’s Rhubarb Bars

1 cup margarine

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

6 egg yolks (save egg whites)

2 cups sugar

4 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cream or evaporated milk

5 cups diced rhubarb

Combine margarine, flour and sugar. Press into 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Beat egg yolks well. Add sugar, flour and salt and continue to beat. Add cream and rhubarb, mixing well, and pour over baked crust.  Bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. White it is baking, prepare the following meringue:

6 egg whites

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

Dash of salt

Beat egg whites, adding 2 tablespoons of sugar at a time until gone. Add vanilla and salt. When bars have baked 45 minutes, remove from oven. Raised over temperature to 400 degrees. Spread meringue over bars, return to oven and bake until meringue is golden. Watch closely as it browns quickly.