Rhubarb time bring memories of my mom's rhubarb dessert. We loved it. We never tired of it. It was so sad when the rhubarb bolted and we had to wait another year to have it again. It was rather recently when I discovered you could buy rhubarb, I thought it was only available in your own yards.
This dessert was a regular item mom would bring to pot lucks.
Mom received the recipe for her dessert from a friend at the annual Company K picnic. This was a reunion held at Terrace Park in Sioux Falls by the families of men who were called up to the draft and sent to serve from Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota in 1952. They were Company K at army boot camp. For decades we would gather for this.
Another army related group we had reunions with was a group that had gathered at the DeHamer home in South Carolina near Fort Jackson in 1952/53. Mr. and Mrs. DeHamer were Dutch-American transplants from Michigan who at church invited service members and spouses to come to their home on Sunday afternoons to eat and relax. Most who took them up on this were other Dutch-Americans, because, well, that is what we do.
This group would have reunions every 3 years and has (yes, continues to this day for 66 years) a round-robin letter. It is like a group-chat in letter form. It arrived at my mother's when I was there last week.
A third reunion we had was annually with a group of my mother's childhood friends. They have been so for over 80 years and also have a round-robin letter.
I love these connections my parents made that continue for decades.
(adapted and annotated, because I cannot leave well enough alone)
Crust (use food processor, metal blade)
1 cup cold butter, cut into cubes
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pulse til coarse, press into ungreased glass 9 by 13 pan, bake 350 degrees for 25 minutes
Filling (use mixer, paddle)
7 egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pour over 5-6 cups of chopped rhubarb on top of crust, bake 1 hour
Meringue (use mixer, whisk)
7 egg whites beaten stiff
slowly add mixture of 6 Tablespoons sugar and 2 Tablespoons corn starch
Spread evenly and bake til brown, about 12-15 minutes.
Tastes best at room temperature, but we usually start on it while it is still hot.