28 Delicious Ways to Serve Sumner Hot-House Rhubarb front cover
28 Delicious Ways to Serve Sumner Hot-House Rhubarb front cover

With summer in full swing, it’s time to break out those seasonal recipes.  And what’s more summery than rhubarb?

Among our (fairly) recent acquisitions was this tasty item, 28 Delicious Ways to Serve Sumner Hot-house Rhubarb.  Looking forward to cataloging the tiny pamphlet, I was a little dashed (make that secretly relieved) when it proved to have cataloging copy already, rather than requiring “original” cataloging.  I did, however, manage to add a few things to the record, including a date attribution of 1930, which came from the dealer from whom we purchased the brochure.  Since I was a bit dubious about that date, as well as fascinated by the history of rhubarb cultivation in Sumner, I continued to do a little digging around as time allowed.

In the intervening months, I did discover that the (subsequently renamed) Washington Rhubarb Growers Association has continued to issue a booklet of recipes, the current version having morphed from 28 to 43 recipes (although several classics such as the “Blushing rhubarb fluff” are still included).  I obtained a free copy, which, hopefully we also can add to the collection.  Even more recently, however, I noticed that the City of Sumner in re-branding itself as the “Rhubarb Pie Capital” has put together a Web site full of lots of useful information, including a history page that may suggest a different probable publication date (1937) for the 28 recipe edition.  What do you think?

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Although I am a native New Yorker, I seem drawn to the Pacific Northwest. My current gig as Manuscripts & Special Collections Cataloging Librarian at the University of Washington Libraries represents my third stint out here. Prior to coming to the UW, I have worked at the New York Public Library, King County Archives, New York University, and Columbia University (to name but a few).

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