Saturday, June 28, 2008

At Least Something is Growing

Rain, clouds, and wind continue to dominate the Alaskan summer weather forecast. I think the high today was 60, low predicted tonight in the upper 40's. I became profoundly depressed last weekend in Port Angeles when, driving by the many gardens of Peninsula residents, I noticed their vegetables were weeks ahead of mine. And our summers are shorter.

But, one thing is growing (besides the grass and dandelions). The rhubarb. Our kindly neighbors offer their ever-abundant rhubarb patch every summer, and every summer I hitch myself over our fence, knife in hand, to hack off a few stalks of the plant when the mood hits.

Yesterday Bear and I had a crop of Oregon strawberries, sent home with Yukon by his mother, who picked them herself. Their shelf life wasn't going to be long, so we baked a strawberry-rhubarb pie together. Almost made me forgive the bad weather, it tasted so like summer. Below is the recipe for those who are so inclined to try it. As you can see, Bear enjoyed his piece!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie (from "Let's Taste Alaska" cookbook)

2 cups sliced strawberries 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

2 cups chopped rhubarb 1 9-inch double crust pie pastry, unbaked

1 1/2 cups sugar butter

3 Tbs minute tapioca

1/4 tsp salt

Mix fruit and cover with sugar, tapioca, and spices. Let stand 25 min. Turn into unbaked pie shell. Dot with butter; cover with lattice top pastry (HA! Ever see a preschooler's version of "lattice top"?) Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer, until crust is golden brown.

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