Posts Tagged ‘Harvest’

Falling in Love

There are many things I love about springtime: the migrating birds that come home, the smell of lilacs in the air, the longer days, and the new palate of colors that make their way onto my dinner plate. One of the wonderful things about eating seasonally is how the arrival of each year’s crop feels like Christmas. In early spring, I particularly look forward to the arrival of asparagus. When it finally arrives, I can eat it almost everyday. I eat it marinated in salads, I put it in omelettes, puree it for soup, broil it with parmesan cheese, grill it with lemon…. I love it.

photo is NOT mine

My new obsession this spring is rhubarb. Rhubarb is a new item on my love list. Not being a very big jam or pie person, I must say I never really ate rhubarb. Last year, a friend of mine brought over rhubarb soda and I have been thinking about this wonderful vegetable ever since. When I saw that it was available in my CSA box this week, I was thrilled. The trick for me was trying to find a way to eat it without the sinful amounts of processed sugar and white flour. I searched Google and Bing for what seemed like an eternity trying to find “healthier” ways  to consume this delicious food and really came up empty-handed.

Sure I found plenty of savory sauces I could drown pork or fish in, and an amazing rhubarb compote, but I really wanted something I could make with very few ingredients and also feel good about feeding my kid.  I remember a while ago, I read a blog about woman who made rhubarb yogurt. Perfect. However, when I arrived at her blog, the recipe that she used was no longer available. Searching to web for a “rhubarb” puree, I found various combinations of white sugar and rhubarb which, with that and the help of Gourmet magazine gained me the confidence I needed to make up my own  recipe. Although a rhubarb puree is not something to start writing publishers about, I will say that I am very proud of the end result.

Granolamama’s Rhubarb Puree

  • 4 cups thinly sliced rhubarb
  • 2/3 cup raw honey (you could totally use less)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp. vanilla (optional, but delicious)
  • a squeeze of lemon juice (optional, but delicious)

1. Add 3 cups rhubarb, honey, water to saucepan. Bring to a boil and then simmer until mushy (like 10 minutes)

2. Puree in blender (Be careful with hot liquids. I put a rag over the top before I started pureeing). If you have an immersion blender, use that instead. 

3. Put back in pot, add remaining 1 cup of rhubarb. Cook until added rhubarb is mushy.

4. Take off the heat and add lemon and vanilla.

Alternative recipe ideas (in the spirit of Mark Bittman) and serving Suggestions:

  • Add a spoonful or two to REAL (plain, unsweetened) yogurt. Top with wheat germ. (optional)
  • Omit step three, adding all of the rhubarb at the beginning, serve with champagne or seltzer water. Some people prefer to strain purees with cheesecloth to make the beverage smoother and prettier 🙂
  • If you are going for decadent, add a few spoonfuls to tapioca or rice pudding

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Rethinking Halloween

fall Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. It always has been. Is it the candy? No, not really. Is it the costumes? No, never really loved dressing up. Granted, there was a time in my childhood where candy was king and it definitely was a top reason to love Halloween, but even then I never really got into dressing up. Even when I was younger, I think my favorite thing about the holiday was buying a pumpkin and roasting the seeds! As I got older, I started appreciating different things about Halloween, and it didn’t necessarily fall on the 31st. To me, this time of year represents change and renewal. A time of celebration for some, and feast for others. When Liam gets older, I want him to love Halloween too, but not just for the candy and the costumes. I want him to be connected in some sense to the harvest. Perhaps we will bake a pumpkin pie from scratch (mmm..fresh roasted pumpkin!), develop an art project from fallen leaves, or better yet, can squashes! (Who knows how much fun he’ll have canning!). Whatever our tradition will be, it will be centered around the changing seasons, not accmulating vast amounts of high fructose cron syrup

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