Is this smile as lame as it feels?

July 22, 2010

FINLAND

“Madam Prime Minister, I’d like to toast your people with a big glass of this, uh, pinot noir? Merlot?

rhubarb juice crop 240“Oh Mr. President, that’s not red wine, that’s our famous local RHUBARB juice!”

“Are you sh***ing me? What I’ve got in my mouth right this minute is rhubarb juice?”

“Why yes, Mr. President. You should swallow it, because it’s starting to dribble out your nose. There’s plenty more where that came from!”

“Oh my God, this tastes like tepid monkey spit! How long do I have to stand here with this frozen grin on my face? Why don’t those news photographers go away, so I can spit this crap out on the sidewalk? I think it’s starting to eat away at my gold fillings…”

“We’ll show you the processing plant, Mr. President. We take ripe rhubarb and run over it with old Soviet tractors, then we…”

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Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev and Finland’s Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi (L) enjoy glasses of Kultaranta rhubarb juice as they meet at Kultaranta manor, the presidential summer residence, in Naantali July 21, 2010. Medvedev is on his second day of his visit to Finland. REUTERS/Lehtikuva/Martti Kainulainen

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Cut poor Mitya some slack, BG. He knows when he’s being poisoned. All parts of the rhubarb plant contain oxalic acid, a poison. The leaves have more than the stems. But juice from the stems is poisonous nonetheless. Well, as they say, it’s not the poison, it’s the dosage.

Anyone for a nice fresh salad made with fresh rhubarb leaves? What? Your tongue is swelling? Here, drink some of this fresh-squeezed rhubarb juice. It’ll help.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

FYI, many radiator cleaners contain oxalic acid. And many vegetables other than rhubarb contain oxalic acid, such as spinach and amaranth. But, hey, veggies and radiator cleaners are good for you, right? Right?

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Oh, and try some of my Mountain Laurel Honey, made by my very own bees with pollen from wild Kalmia that grows here on the farm. And wash it down with rhubarb juice. mmmmm.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

You are giving out information doc… I have to zap you… over that oxy acid thingy you said… Sorry, duty calls!
Zaaaaaaaaaaap!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

That’s okay, Shra. I don’t hold a grudge, not even against people I never speak to again. And, just to show there are no hard feelings, doing anything for dinner? :)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

haha.. That’s a really cool dialogue, RB :D

Posted by fwd079 | Report as abusive

Ok, I’m puzzled. In the second picture, what happened to his tie? Theories, please.

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

OH NO, you can’t zap Doc, he keeps me awake and makes me laugh, even if he does attempt to teach something now and then, its usually nefarious, so its okay.

GO Doc!

Posted by beachbum | Report as abusive

“Are you sh***ing me? What I’ve got in my mouth right this minute is rhubarb juice?”

This is why the western nations keep a close eye on Russia. Any country who’s President can speak clearly and intelligibly with a mouth full of rhubarb juice is not a country to be trifled with. He even threw in a vulgarity!

Posted by iflydaplanes | Report as abusive

@Lala, the glass is different in the 2nd pic also. I think Bobby boy is trying to pull a fast one on us.

Posted by MamaC326 | Report as abusive

Rhubarb doughnuts! Brilliant!

@lala … I like it. Kinda like a human Pete Repeat puzzle from when I was but a wee tike.

Posted by justCAM | Report as abusive

If he has the tie knotted tightly enough, he won’t be able to swallow the rhubarb juice.

They are missing out; I have had some good rhubarb wine before that will definitely put a smile on your face.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Well, all righty then! I guess I’ll save my lecture on purines and purine metabolism for a different blog. I know when I’m not wanted! I know when I’m not appreciated! But don’t come crying to me when you have hyperuricemia!

Donut anyone?

(By the way, I do have a medical background. It’s just that my doctoral degrees are not in medicine.)

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Hey Doc, don’t feel bad: I think pretty much all of us on this blog have a “medical background”. Nothin’ to be ashamed of. And I personally find purines fascinating.

Posted by ladylala | Report as abusive

I just thought that my little talk would appeal to those on this blog with prurient interests.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Leave my medical background, er, history out of this, and pass the rhubarb wine.

@mama & @lala – definitely pictures taken at two different times. I wonder just how much “rhubarb juice” ‘ole Dmitry drank during his visit?

Sorry, Dave is on holiday at his cave in Kabul, so today it’s dave.

Posted by Dave_not_dave | Report as abusive

You know… I havent really tasyted rhubard… though I was, until very recently, tempted to make a rhubarb pie…. but then, when I saw the amount of sugar that goes to sweeten the rhubarb… I begin to wonder.. why do they even bother????

I am off to Stuttgart today to see a school friend I havent seen in 11 years… hope she doesnt treat me something nasty….

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I grow rhubarb, 4 different varieties. We make rhubarb pie for our wealthy elderly relatives….

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Photo one:
Unidentified female – “Oh Mr. Medvedev, you are sooo funny. Do that impersonation of Blog Guy again”
DM – “You mean this goofy face, like on his blog?”

Photo Two:
DM – “Hmm that guy that just served me the wine from that odd looking teapot – he seemed to have a familiar looking smirk. And why was he wearing those radiation-proof gloves, and talking about some guy called Lamar?”

Posted by Nosmo_King | Report as abusive

Shra – at the risk of being educational, you can substitute sugar for Peach juice – or any sweet fruit juice of your choice, really.
When I was about six, I use to think that anyone who had a stutter must have originally come from Stuttgard, that hamburgers came from Hamburg, and frankfurters came from Frankfurt. It all made sense, as I was a munchkin and I came from Munich.

Posted by zeitgeist | Report as abusive

Shra,

I’m good for 1 rhubarb pie and several strawberry-rhubarb pies a year.

All rhubarbs are not the same. Some varieties are much sweeter than others. The sweetest I grow is called “Cherry.” The second sweetest is “Chinese Rhubarb,” which I grew from seed a couple of years ago. Both of these varieties haves small very red stems. Generally, the redder the stem, the sweeter the rhubarb. I never put in as much sugar as the recipe calls for. And adding strawberries also decreases the amount of sugar needed for a delicious pie.

My only problem: my rhubarb pies are 2 inches wide and 2 feet long! (That’s a Benney Hill joke.)

Taz away!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

We don’t generally recycle old Benny Hill jokes here, Doc, but as Shra is en route to Stuttgart, we’ll let you off with a warning.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Unca, while there is rhubarb growing on my farm, I grow it in my veggie garden at home. We live on acreage in the city where I can indulge my passion for all things garden. And no, there are few things I don’t grow in my gardens.

I was very careful about which law firm I joined years ago. There was only one firm in town I was interested in working for, because it was careful about making sure its attorneys had a life. They called me up and asked me to apply, and that was the end of my cushy life as an English prof.

As for the farm, my brothers and brothers-in-law do most of the farming. They farm my farm and my Mom’s farm in addition to their own, and I get a share of the profits. I occasionally help out, when I have time and when I’m in the mood.

Spin, I have been too busy this year at the office to do the photo shoot. Shooting for next year. I do have some photos of my water garden on FB, if you’re interested. Bob can give you my contact information.

Speaking of office work, duty calls.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

It is a sign of good diplomacy when you drink the filthy bilge water served by your host.

Posted by NormanRogers | Report as abusive

Shra, rhubarb is fabulous viciously sour; try it, you might like it. :)

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

When I was a kid, we kids would pull rhubarb out of the garden and just eat it like celery. It’s amazing what tastes good in the heat of the summer after working outside all day.

The Cocklebur weed that grows hereabouts looks something like rhubarb when young. We always called it “outhouse rhubarb,” because it seemed to grow in the vicinity of the old outhouses.

Sour Dock weed also looks like rhubarb, only when it has gone to seed.

We kids had to go out and eradicate these weeds in the pastures because they are toxic to horses. We also had to eradicate wild onions, because the milk cows would eat them and they would flavor the milk. Of course, I suppose, you could use the onion milk to make chip dip!

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

My grandmother grew most of the vegetables we ate when I was growing up, including all the rhubarb you’d ever want. Which in my case was very, very little.

She also grew a strange thing called kohlrabi, which I have never heard of as an adult. I believe all the kohlrabi growers were rounded up and shot at some point.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Ah yes, Kohlrabi. That is a popular member of the cabbage family around here. I don’t grow it because my wife and son complain that it causes spasms of the esophagus …. just before they throw up.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

More like just before they die…

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Mmmm. Homemade rhubarb custard pie.

Posted by Onedoor | Report as abusive

Mmm, kohlrabi…

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

I want a rhubarb doughnut…. and a DoctorDoll with his four varieties of rhubarb.

Posted by knit_nurse | Report as abusive

Well I learned about as much about rhubarb and Doc from this post as I ever needed!

Just kidding, I could always stand to learn a little more about rhubarb!

;)

Posted by LMR | Report as abusive

Well well well… dont we all have green fingers? I cant grow anything… simply coz I dont have the space and the area I can actually grow it in doesnt belong to me…
Once I settle someplace (for more than 6 months), I would definitely try to…
CG, does it taste anything like Marmite? (very worried look)

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Feel so much knowledgeable now

Posted by Insane | Report as abusive

Tsk tsk… people learning on the blog…. NOT GOOD! Right… Insane.. gotta tase you… for learning!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

I like Kohlrabi, too, Spin. I have never met a vegetable I didn’t like, provided it was prepared properly.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Shra honey, neither rhubarb nor kohl rabi share a flavour with marmite. Fear not!

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive

I’m with Doc on this, and long as “prepared properly” means tossed into a dumpster on your way to a doughnut shop.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Jeez, Spin and Doc. Why don’t you go blow up a few space ships, and then go on Cooking with Evil with Darth Vader!
http://blogs.reuters.com/oddly-enough/20 10/07/26/our-secret-ingredient-is-evil/

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

Spin, yes, I love all those. But I only eat turnip greens with Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas). Having lived in Alabama, I have developed a taste for Southern foods, including okra and grits. I doubt we’ll get Bob to climb down off his Yankee high-horse long enough to try anything Southern.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I doubt we’ll get Bob to climb down off his Yankee high-horse long enough to try anything Southern…

Are you out of your mind? As a native Midwesterner, I think the three greatest cuisines in my country are Southern, Southwestern and New Orleans…. Everything else flows down from there, until you get to my native Indiana diet, several levels below rock bottom.

I don’t even HAVE a Yankee high horse, though certainly there are some nice chowders and other New England dishes, and Maryland crabcakes rule.

But when we have the big blog reunion, it will be in Santa Fe, New Orleans, San Antonio, Charleston or whatever.

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I stand corrected.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

You guys are making me right hungry… and I have put myself on the Kellooggs diet!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Doc, I hope I didn’t sound too harsh. But I love my Southern food….

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I understand being defensive about Southern food. I adore the stuff. I was joking, of course, about the Yankee high horse. Those with a high horse would eat ribs with a knife and fork, and we all know you wouldn’t do that. mmmmm, ribs….

Unfortunately, at our house, tonight is Indiana cuisine night. Try to remember me the way I am now.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

Southern fried chicken… in a wrap with lettuce, onions and tomatoes… with a spicy chilli sauce….

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Now, I’m getting hungry! I think a road trip to my favorite sarnie shop is in order today.

Posted by DoctorDoll | Report as abusive

I had to look that up. Thanks, Doc, I learned a new word. OMG! I’m sorry I said that! Run away!

Posted by rcbasler | Report as abusive

I seem to have missed a tassing oppurtunity…. no worries… I will make up for it….

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Goes to show how varied our interests are, Spin… we can make any topic worth talking about!!
3 cheers for the OE bloggers!

Glug glug… Hurray! Glug glug… Hurray!! Glug glug.. (hic) hurrayy!!!!

Posted by Shra | Report as abusive

Go on Shra, feed ‘em some Tase!

Posted by CrowGirl | Report as abusive