Sunday, June 21, 2015

Rickety old Stairs



..................you tentatively place your foot on the first step, and your hand on the handrail, which jiggles in a not-reassuring way. Placing your full weight on the step - you hold your breath. Though the stairs groan protest, they hold you up and you gingerly continue up...............




Okay I *told* you I was all poetic-ky over the Farmers' Market.

So I had a lot of Rhubarb. A Lot.

I have my Grandma Taylors recipe book; the "Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook".
It has all sorts of great stuff in there, and was out of print until just recently. I have my Mom's copy she received as a wedding gift, complete with her notes and dogears and extra recipes stuffed in.

Needless to say it's one of my prized possessions. 
I have my own copy now - which is getting just as much use as my Mom's did when she was a young bride back in the 70's.
The cool thing about this book to me, this cookbook, that really sets it apart - is that it has ALL the basics in here. Like, when you just want to PLAINLY roast a chicken. Or, make a meatloaf. Or weird old fashioned stuff like.... Mincemeat. Or Christmas Pudding. OR....a Rhubarb Pie. 
No bells, no whistles, no waiting 24 hours, no special trips to the "Good" grocery store.

But I digress.

...........as adapted from "The Laura Secord Canadian Cook Book" 

Two 9 inch pie crusts. Make your own or cheat (what I did today) and use premade.
4 cups rhubarb in 1 inch cubes.
1-1.5 cups white sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
dash or two of cinnamon *optional
1 tbsp butter
Cookie sheet

Head out to your Rhubarb patch and cut off about 10 medium/small or 6 big stalks.
Leave the leaves in your composter; those babies are POISONOUS so don't eat them.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Make/prepare your pie crusts - you will need one for the bottom and one for the top.
Wash and cut rhubarb stalks into 1 inch pieces and place in large bowl. Make sure your stalks are dry; you don't need any extra moisture in this pie.
Mix sugar, flour and cornstarch with rhubarb in large bowl.
Pour into prepared bottom pie crust.
I like to just dash some cinnamon on top, but that's me.
Lightly wet edge of crust and place the second crust on top, pinching edges together. 
Cut a six vents in the top of the crust, and dot with the butter.

Place in 450F oven for 15 minutes on the middle rack.
Reduce heat to 350F and cook further for 45-50 minutes.
Make sure to place a cookie sheet under the pie on the lowest rack to catch the juices.
*don't forget this step!!*
Pie should be done at this point; the juices will be bubbling up and out.

THIS IS THE HARDEST PART:

Remove from oven and LET COOL COMPLETELY. Do not refrigerate to speed this up.
I struggle with this part.....gah. You have to let the fruit 'set' and if you don't it'll be closer to Rhubarb Soup with Crust.
 You *can* give in and when the pie is just warmish; serve with a big dollop of fresh whipped cream or good vanilla ice cream....yummmmmmmmmmm.



And there you have it.