Spring Cleaning with a side of Rhubarb Cake

rhubarb cake

I had grand intentions this weekend. With an extra day off, I intended to make a to-do list and actually do the things on it. That’s right folks, spring was coming and I was feeling the itch.


Unfortunately in order to do spring cleaning you actually have to have weather that indicates some sign of spring. It’s no fun to dust with the door shut or to store away those bulky sweaters when temps are still in the twenties. Trust me. I tried.

I know I keep talking about April showers but they really hit us hard here in Chicago last week. April showers followed by April flooding and capped off with more April snow showers.

what’s that you say? oh just your average manhole turned geyser in the middle of the city. NBD.

But the difference between April and January is that  in April the sun eventually shines and the cold weather doesn’t last as long. So as the city dried itself off, I set out to tackle my to-do list again.

I tried to get Finn involved. Telling him that if I was going to do a purge and donate a bunch of my clothes, that he had to pick one toy to get rid of, too.

greater swiss mountain dog
time-stamp: 11:25 a.m.

Clearly, he was game.

greater swiss mountain dog
timestamp: 11:27 a.m.

I think I mentioned last week in my post about Jake’s Captain America Party that my sister is much better at purging things than I am. And even though she was in town this weekend, I still managed to part with my abundance of t-shirts that I haven’t touched in years all by myself. Many, many years.

if I told you I used to have 3 drawers full would you believe me?

Why? Because you never know when you might need that sleeveless basketball t-shirt from 7th grade you spent hours wearing while doing suicides in an 80 degree gymnasium. Or that the memory of the co-ed flag football championship that you and your fellow Tampax Runstoppers won might not be enough without the long-sleeved uniform that went with it. Because those shirts are attached to life, folks. And that’s hard to let go of.

Well it was hard. Until you’re living in a one-bedroom condo and you literally run out of space for your hoarding problem and then turn into the purging sister you never thought you’d become.

this empty basket’s for you Anne

I managed to make a decent dent in my closet and actually felt better about myself once it was all over. I’d like to thank you for helping me let go through this post as well. After all, I think some of the parting process comes from documenting the encounter. Who am I kidding, of course it does. And I can only hope that a teenage boy in the city will learn something about the female reproductive system after he wears that shirt to school one day. And that makes me giggle.

After the cleaning was done I set out to completely reverse it by messing up my kitchen. I hit up the grocery store yesterday and bought a plethora of rhubarb. And when I say plethora I mean both in amount and size. My produce market is like the Gold’s Gym of produce markets. Everything there is on steroids. And I’m ok with that.


After the blueberry cake last week, I couldn’t stop thinking about my grandma’s rhubarb cake. And since it was a co-worker’s birthday the next day, it was the perfect excuse to kick off the season. If you haven’t tried rhubarb cake, you’re missing out. I can’t take credit for this one beyond throwing everything together. Credit goes to my Grandma Bosch. Hers puts mine to shame.

rhubarb cake

Remember what I said about recipes with stains? Well this one takes the cake. Not only do I have one stained recipe, but right above it I have another. That’s right. Two of the exact same recipe written down in the same cookbook on the same page. Clearly a trusted recipe. 


Grandma’s Rhubarb Cake

  • 2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C Shortening (other recipe calls for butter-makes sense now)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 C buttermilk (mixed with 1 tsp baking soda)
  • 4 C Rhubarb, chopped


  • 1/2 Sugar (there’s always extra)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Chop rhubarb into 1 inch pieces. Set aside.


In a large bowl, mix flour and salt.

Mix 1 tsp baking soda into buttermilk.

Cream shortening or butter with sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk until combined. Fold in rhubarb.

Spread into greased and floured 9×13 pan. Dust cinnamon sugar mixture over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean. NOTE: I have a gas oven and mine was done in less than 40.

rhubarb cake

Now eat your cake and forget about all of the memories you just threw away. Happy spring!

One thought on “Spring Cleaning with a side of Rhubarb Cake

  1. I did a major spring cleaning haul a few months ago! Max and I got rid of 8 trash-bags full of clothing, I couldn’t believe some of the crap I kept. It’s SO hard though because you honestly think you will wear it again and then a year goes by and you just don’t….

    Best feeling ever though right?!

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