Murdo Girl…Rhubarb Ann

Grandma and Grandpa Sanderson’s house had a small front room, a long dining room with a buckled linoleum floor. Grandma and Grandpa’s room was off that room. There was a bathroom off the kitchen, Billy’s room, which was also off the kitchen, a washroom behind the kitchen, and a back door that faced the crawdad pond. I remember sitting on the steps outside the back door and to my right there were several rhubarb plants. I tried to eat one once and it was the sourest thing I ever put in my mouth. The only other thing I remember about Grandma’s rhubarb was seeing it simmer at the back of the stove in a big pot of water. Grandma always had either plums or rhubarb simmering on the back of the stove. I remember eating it once in a while, but not in the quantities Grandma kept it stocked. Now that I think about it, Grandma was either extremely constipated, or she just really liked stewed fruit.

I don’t remember rhubarb pie being served. Grandma usually made cherry pie. I don’t remember eating much of anything made with rhubarb, yet to this day, I love it all… Jam, cobbler, pie, cake, coffee cake, syrup, or anything else made from rhubarb.I have recently become acquainted with rhubarb shakes, and they are something to wrap your lips around and enjoy every slow- churned bite.My cousin, Lav and I discovered them in the summer of 2016 at a little diner across from the Harold Thune Auditorium. Now we will never be able to go back to any other flavor. We are lost to the uniqueness of rhubarb.We talked everyone we were slightly acquainted with into buying us a Rhubarb Shake at the diner. We didn’t even stop to consider that other local establishments might offer them. We went directly to the source of our first head freeze each time we had the opportunity. I have never seen a Rhubarb Shake since… except the following summer when I convinced Teresa Palmer to buy me one.

I honestly think that Murdo could become known as the home of the Rhubarb Shake. People are less enamored now with the hot beef sandwiches and cherry pie you can get at Wall Drug. The summers are hot, and cooler fare is needed. You could keep overhead way down if you leave the cherry off the top, which ruins the flavor anyway…And best of all!!! You can bring back the Frosty Freeze. Every ice cream place in town gets a cut as long as they keep the standards up. Just think of it.

Murdo, South Dakota….The home of the Rhubarb Shake. Dare I suggest a sign out west of town?

We’ll have fly-ins and carnivals, Rhubarb Rodeos an of course…

A Rhubarb Queen

Or Thirty


(I will later write the Murdo Girl stories in book format, but they won’t be published on the blog. Several Murdoites would like to have them published together. You’re all the best!)

Anyway…It’s (almost) time for a new generation of idea people and I think there’s a future in Rhubarb…does the diner have a juke box?

Saw Rubarb Ann. Thought I’d take a stand..Bababababran..Betty Sue wouldn’t do…you get it!!

10 thoughts on “Murdo Girl…Rhubarb Ann

  1. sanjuan831 June 10, 2019 / 5:21 pm

    The book will be a hit. When it comes out, we should celebrate. Rhubarb shakes are on me.


  2. Dianna Diehm June 10, 2019 / 7:44 am

    You quack me up MG. I love how you can take anything (example rhubarb) and make it so funny that it brings tears of joy to mine eyes. I’m going to take a leap here and just say that maybe rhubarb has the appeal because of all the sugar??? I know, and just when you thought grandma was boiling it in water. Anywhosey great story and I think if you’re serious about a book of your short stories I would be 1st in line (and I hate lines) to buy one. Go for-the gold Cimosabe 🧡💜

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary Francis McNinch June 10, 2019 / 12:40 am

    It has to be unique and rhubarb ice cream tastes much better than it sounds. It’ll go…believe me!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Patti Arnieri June 9, 2019 / 10:50 pm

    What timing–my neighbor just brought over a rhubarb cake–delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. countrygirl57 June 9, 2019 / 10:05 pm

    Love it – the story! Not the rhubarb 🤣🤣

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  6. lifelessons June 9, 2019 / 9:12 pm

    I like that little diner.. I got something there that was the best I’d ever had a few reunions ago, but it wasn’t a rhubarb shake. Sorry Mary. Rhubarb? Yech. But, leaves more for you. What was it I got? Lost to memory, like so many other things…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary Francis McNinch June 10, 2019 / 12:48 am

      I’m not giving up on you, Judy. It won’t be long before you’re sold and you’ll be telling all your friends about rhubarb everything. And don’t forget the crown!!

      Liked by 1 person

    • sanjuan831 June 10, 2019 / 5:19 pm

      You would love those even if you’re not crazy about rhubarb because they have a very delicate sweet flavor.


      • lifelessons June 10, 2019 / 5:47 pm

        I made strawberry rhubarb jam once and it was very good, but the berries and lots of sugar mitigated the rhubarb.


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