Let the rhubarb steep in 1/2 cup of the sugar for 1 hour or more (even overnight) stirring once or twice. Toss the remaining sugar and all of the dry ingredients together to mix thoroughly. Beat the egg lightly and stir into it 1/4 cup of the juice that the rhubarb will have exuded after steeping, as well as the milk and melted butter. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet, stirring just enough to mix. Fold in the rhubarb (if there is still more juice, drain it off) and the nuts. Scrape the batter into a buttered 8-inch loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350 F oven for 1 hour. Let the loaf rest in the pan 10 minutes before unmolding, then cool it on a rack.
Makes one 8-inch loaf.
[The L. L. Bean Book of NEW New England Cookery]