Strawberry and Rhubarb

Spring reminds me of strawberries, and my favorite strawberry dessert
has to be my mom’s strawberry and rhubarb crisp. First of all it’s
delicious! Also it’s made with homegrown ingredients, and is very
nostalgic. I remember my mom leaving sticky 9×13″ pans of berry crisps
on the kitchen table during the summer. I would, not so slyly, pick
off the buttery topping which would result in gaping holes on top.
During fall the berry crisps would be replaced with apple crisps,
which served as the perfect breakfast before school (more to come on
apple crisps in the fall).

Lucky for me my mom brought down strawberries and rhubarb from the garden this weekend. I had to pay homage to the garden and make a crisp. I think this crisp is served best
room temperature or slightly warm (I like to zap it in the microwave
for a few seconds) with either a scoop of vanilla ice cream or freshly
whipped cream.

I made half a recipe, so I wouldn’t eat a whole pan! I can’t wait to
dig in for more after I write this!

Recipe:

Filling:
3 cups sliced strawberries
3 cups chopped rhubarb
1-2 tablespoons of white sugar

Put in a 9×9 pan. Depending on the sweetness of the fruit, add a
tablespoon or two of sugar. My strawberries were very sweet so I only
used 1 tablespoon of sugar this time.

Topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cups chopped walnuts
6 Tablespoons of cold butter

Mix the flour, brown sugar, oats, and walnuts in a bowl. Cut in butter
with a pastry blender until mixture is coarse and the butter is in pea
sized pieces. (Or process all the ingredients in the food processor
until the butter breaks up into pea sized pieces).

Sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit filling. Bake at 400 F
degrees for 15 minutes, then turn the oven to 325 F degrees and bake
another 25 minutes.

Let cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice
cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!

*Avoid eating rhubarb leaves, they are poisonous

Golden Gate Bridge and a busy weekend

Happy 75th Birthday Golden Gate Bridge! This weekend the city threw a proper celebration for our beloved bridge (which opened May 27, 1937). Thousands of people, locals and tourists alike, turned out for daytime festivities and a spectacular fireworks show Sunday night. The fog lifted and the night was perfect!

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It was also a great weekend because my mom was in town! We went to the Academy of Sciences to see my brother. He gives dive shows in the cool coral tank.

My mom also came bearing gifts! My favorite type of gifts, food gifts. I happily received fresh rhubarb and strawberries from the garden, a dozen eggs from the chickens, and a potted array of basils (which were just small seedlings a month ago). I can’t wait to get cooking!

Chicken eggs straight from the coop and rhubarb from the garden:

Green and Purple Basil Plants

TIP: Grow and harvest your own herbs. It’s convenient and saves money!

Sadly the weekend has come to an end. My mom left for home early this morning. Dad has been holding down the fort back home, tending to the animals and keeping an eye on everything. Instead of fireworks, he said they got May snow showers over the weekend. Luckily it burned off quickly, and there is no damage to the garden!

Peas in the Garden

I must have peas on the brain! I talked about the peas from the farmer’s market in the previous post, but left out the peas from mom’s garden. The growing season is a bit later at mom’s house, but the green peas are shooting up quickly.

Tip: Peas like to climb as they grow. Mom used some apple tree branches that she trimmed earlier as a trellis (used to support plants) for the peas. See if you have anything on hand to use before buying a trellis.

Green pea flower from the garden!

Spring Peas

I love going to the farmer’s markets in San Francisco to see what’s in season and to buy locally. Last week peas were everywhere, and for only $1 per pound! I snagged a bag and decided to make fresh pea and ricotta bruschetta, which I’ve been seeing a lot on restaurant menus lately.

I used a Giada recipe from Food Network as a guideline.

Tweaks:

– Since my peas were fresh I had to shell (kind of time consuming) and blanch them first.

– I added a squeeze of meyer lemon juice to brighten up the pea mixture.

– I omitted the tomatoes on top. Instead I spread a layer of ricotta cheese (seasoned with salt and pepper) on the warm bread crostini before topping with the pea puree.

Here’s the recipe:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pea-pesto-crostini-recipe/index.html

Voila!!! Fresh Pea Bruschetta. I hope you enjoy!

TIP: Try re-creating restaurant dishes at home to save money.  Also, you will be able to control what goes into your food!

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I couldn’t resist, cheerful flowers at the farmer’s market!