It's not what you think. I was staying with my sister's future in-law's the summer before she got married in New Hampshire. I needed an excuse not to stay in my hometown between college semesters and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. As a thank-you for letting me be their summer dependent, I decided to bake them a pie. I love making pie and grew up cutting rhubarb in our backyard in Montana and baking with my mom.
The Rines' family had an extensive garden on their property and I was allowed to use whatever I wanted to bake with. After confirming the location of their rhubarb plant before they left in the morning, I set out to the garden to gather up ingredients. I decided on strawberry rhubarb to offset the bitterness, after all, rhubarb is kind of intense on its own.
When preparing the pie I thought "wow, this rhubarb is really spongey and tough..." The pie took a ridiculous amount of time to bake too. When it finally finished and I served it up after dinner everyone sort of took one bite then ate around and pushed the rest of the rhubarb to the side of their plates with the exception of Glen, my sister's future father-in-law. Glen scarfed his whole piece down and then proceeded to pluck off the remaining rhubarb pieces from the other plates. Pinky, the future-mother-in-law piped up and said "where did you find this rhubarb?" as she poked at it with her fork and toppled it over examining how it fell. Realizing something wasn't quite right I said sheepishly "In front of the chicken coop?"
"The rhubarb plant is in front of the greenhouse....I don't even know what is growing in front of the chicken coop. I've never planted anything there." She said with a certain amount of fear in her voice.
I had an internal panic attack and my mind raced thinking about how I might have just poisoned my sister's future in-laws and how this lovely night might end in the E.R. with everyone getting their stomach pumped. We all shuffled out to the garden and I pointed out the plant that I had harvested for the pie.
"That is a weed! " Pinky exclaimed. "I think it's burdock!"
We all ran back to the house and quickly googled "burdock" for reassurance and any information about possible poisoning. Thank God it has medicinal properties of blood purification and not high potency poison! I had just assumed that New England rhubarb was a little fuzzier and spongier than Montana rhubarb....turns out that's not true at all.