Farewell, Lake Wobegon

Yesterday, Garrison Keillor signed off from The Prarie Home Companion. And the world got a little bit sadder.

Having lived in Minnesota for 10 years, the News from Lake Wobegon always brought on a bout of nostalgia. Both funny and sad, it reminded me of why I loved Minnesota, and also why I left it.

“The little town that time forgot and the decades cannot improve … where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking, and all the children are above average” will live on forever in the hearts of millions of listeners who tuned in to public radio every week, among them President Obama, who called in on the last show to express his gratitude.

“A Prairie Home Companion,” he said, “made me feel better and more human.”

Thank you, Mr. Keillor, for making us all feel a little bit more human.

As we bid a happy retirement to the master storyteller who brought us Guy Noir, Private Eye, the adventures of Dusty and Lefty, “The Lives of the Cowboys” and PowderMilk Biscuits (“made from whole wheat that give shy persons the strength to get up and do what needs to be done”), I felt it was the perfect time for a piece of Be-Bop-A-Re-Bop Rhubarb Pie (brought to you by RPM, the Rhubarb Producers of Minnesota).

Rhubarb Pie

So let’s sing it all together, one last time…

One little thing can revive a guy, and that is a piece of rhubarb pie
Serve it up, nice and hot
Maybe things aren’t as bad as you thought
Momma’s little baby loves rhubarb rhubarb
Be-Bop-A-Re-Bop Rhubarb Pie!


For this tribute, I opted for The Splendid Table’s Rhubarb Frangipane Pie, which as the name suggests, called not just for a rhubarb filling, but a frangipane one as well. Top that with a cornmeal crust and I have to admit, this pie takes some work.

Rhubarb Pie

However, the results are well worth it. As Garrison Keillor would say, “Heavens, they’re tasty!”


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