I bought strawberries last week and texted everyone that I was making pies when I got home but wouldn’t you know it, my friend Kathy texted me and asked me out to lunch because it was her birthday. I thought this was a pretty interesting coincidence because strawberry rhubarb pies are one of her favorites and I didn’t remember it was her birthday but had felt spiritually moved to make the pies so…..of course I went out with the birthday girl, but I didn’t get a chance to use up the strawberries that day and the family ATE THEM ALL in one evening.
Meanwhile, the rhubarb was growing and sending out invisible vibes to my mind; “I’m almost a pie…..I’m almost a pie……” “just come and cut me down and chop me up and add me to strawberries……” “put me in pastry!…..”
Every spring Rich, I swear, is determined to accidentally plow up the rhubarb patch. I guard it with my everything but still in the spring of 2017 he helpfully plowed up the garden when I wasn’t home. Later I stood by the side of the garden and silently looked down into the freshly tilled earth, hoping and searching for any sign of rhubarb. I picked up a piece of bruised and uprooted sprout, reburied it, my heart aching. I was sure it was all destroyed.
Let this be a lesson to remember from the rhubarb patch; There is always hope. Plants can still be alive underneath the dirt. Things can still grow and thrive after a near death situation.
Rhubarb is quite a marvelous plant with huge poisonous leaves– but once those are removed and carried out of the house and into the woods by a helpful child, we are left with crispy sour stalks and still that invisible voice (that must live in the stalks) saying “I’m almost a pie”.
Caleb says we should plant a strawberry patch. Wouldn’t that be nice?
There are thousands of recipes for using up rhubarb but I found an intriguing recipe for pie in a Taste of Home cookbook that called for an egg in the filling. Since we have a flock of hens and a never ending supply of eggs, I decided to try it.
I doubled the recipe and had enough filling for three small pies.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb pie
1 cup of sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups sliced rhubarb
1 pint strawberries, halved
1 unbaked pastry shell
Topping: 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1/2 cup oats, and 1/2 cup butter.
In a large bowl, beat egg. Beat in the sugar, flour and vanilla. Gently stir in the rhubarb and strawberries. Pour into pastry shell.
For topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar and oats; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit.
Bake at 400 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350; bake for 35 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on wire rack.
RECIPE SOURCE: Taste of Home Baking Classics, page 107
There is currently one pie remaining. (The family loved it.)
This was my breakfast piece this morning, along with a book I found yesterday at Goodwill for 50 cents. It was one that I had discovered at Barnes and Noble and added to a running note on my phone “to look for at the library”. . . . I was happy to find it at Goodwill and can’t wait to read it.
This is my current book which I have to finish first:
West With the Night, by Beryl Markham