Sunday evening dessert party: i

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The rhubarb sat on the counter for a day:  A gift offered from the neighbor in the back, diagonal.  She asked, “Do you like rhubarb?”

In years past her children liked rhubarb jam, but they don’t have time or interest in that anymore.  It sat on the counter for 29 hours, several times passed with thought to move it to the fridge, but it didn’t.

Sunday evening, and eyes turning toward dinner, there they sat, still crisp.  It seemed a shame not to do something with it, though wilted rhubarb has been used for pies, or jams, or crumbles or muffins, and those have always turned out fine — it freezes fine, too, but it becomes a wimpy, slimy thing:  In the end, that’s all it really is.

It seemed discourteous to let it reach that point, unbeknownst or not.  So dinner was slightly delayed by guilty pleasure — sugar cannot really be cut back a lot with rhubarb:  SIL coughed on the first bite and gave herself a few esophageal pounds, “Gets ya right in the…  It’s good, though.”

Even with tapioca, it was runny.  Mom always said a good pie always was.  As always they are, it was — with just a slice remaining, held reserved for Mom.

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Fervida cérebros pot pie

Made extra rich -- with puns!Hopefully, no one finds this, searching for that term… Natch, withal — a hemisphere of seitan remained, so, the thought was chewed upon — re-up, taken with a pie.

It is no lie: Gun-gated channels cannot barricade the rush to conclusion that gee! Protein never tasted so good! I mean, oh — ox a-daze a meal of this, they would be, in satiated euphoria!

The boys don’t gab a lot, but they would tell you, and put to bed they had no clue as — try a term and all — as neither would be fool to claim nor, dope: A minor urge! Ichabod Crane it is known, roams the countryside to seek his head, sole goal, to once again partake pot pie and soothe the craving — so substantial, Niagara in magnitude!The segment of internet for pot-pie recipes was already at capacity -- so we had to use our brains!

Come now! Don’t get sulky! A set, a goal: Lean and mean! Not some peculiar goal to hype all the llamas! A past repast — it is no sin! Apses do not ring with calls for condemnation!

Though, perhaps anyone reading this, should… But judge not! To quote a Goethe: Men show their characters in nothing more clearly than in what they think laughable.

Sad, really… Clearly time to crawl back to hibernation and the den — trite contemplation of passing time, resumed.

Gallant galette butternut

Barbara is a single-minded person. She ignored the disaster and held on to my sleeve.Or, sweet potato butternut squash pie?  Something of that ilk…

There’s a time, in the fall when these squash are absurdly cheap and plentiful, and parsely was also present.  This outrageous little pastry put the remnants of the ravis to use, with the compliment of remaining caramalized onions, garlic, garam masala and an indiscreet amount of habenero, tucked into a crispy, whole wheat crust.

After one over-zealous forkful and bout of clammy contretemps, it was savored in cautious bites with deliberate pauses.

apple pie

More of a Tau sort of guy, myself

There are likely much healthier versions of apple pie, but the “Grandma Opel’s” at allrecipes seems to have become the default — perhaps so we can lick the caramel pan clean!  Despite Ari’s resplendent desserts, we had to make a pie.

The farmer that we bought the apples from — Lodi apples — said, “They’ll pucker ya right up!”  He did not lie — they were horrible eating apples, extremely bitter.  Made Granny Smith’s seem sweet…

Usually we cut back, a bit on the sugar, but with this one, we rode with the whole load, and it was just barely sweet enough.

strawberry rhubarb pie

LaKriesha’s mom keeps calling me – she got a new cell phone now, but still manages to call the wrong number. She calls so frequently that I’ve added her as a contact, so I make sure to answer – I feel bad for her, she’s obviously elderly and her daughter’s clearly not keeping tabs on her as well as she should.

Call your mom, ‘Kriesh (that’s what mom calls her), she needs to get to the bank. Also, this weather is not agreeing with her at all. She doesn’t mind the heat, but the humidity is making her crazy. Fortunately, we’re dropping back into the twenties, next week.

I forgot to mention that to ‘Kriesha’s mom; it might be enough to send her back down to Atlanta! Anyhow, maybe I’ll just take a break and run her to the bank – Lady’s gotta run some errands, ya know?

Having dinner with my own mom, this weekend, being the time of year it is, we brought along one of those splendid strawberry rhubarb deals, for which we have a documented dependence. I should have saved a slice for LaKriesha’s mom, but the boys took to it with a frenzy.

Hey, Kriesh's mom?  You interested in coming to the kid's game tonight?  It's pretty hilarious to watch them run around.

Any time mom made pie, it was a rush through dinner, but there’s something special about the strawberry + rhubarb combination that could even get me through a – then – despised plate of lentils or feijoada, gulp it down so I could scald my face on searing hot pie, and then have a second slice, as well!

One thing mom instructed making the pie was to chop the rhubarb “Like you’d chop celery,” rather than into large chunks, as seems to be the preference with most of the bakeries ‘round here. Those large pieces really seem unpleasant, the key, to me, is the combination of flavors, not big bursts of rhubarb. So this rhubarb was split and chopped a quarter of an inch thick, then blended with chopped berries, ¼ cup sugar, ½ brown sugar, a little tapioca and spritzted with lemon.

The tapioca helps reduce the soupiness, but we’ve found boiling the contents over in the oven helps, as well. Plus it fills the house with a lovely burnt sugar aroma. I can just hear LaKriesha’s mom tut-tutting me for that.

The acrid relationship led to a strawberry rhubarb

Strawberry rhubarb pie is a treasure from childhood, a rare treat which would have me bouncing in my seat in anticipation, taunted by the wonderful aroma as we ate dinner while it baked in the oven.

Like everything mom makes, she’ll say her recipe comes from the Betty Crocker, and that’s probably the origin – dad likely came home from the market and announced, “Look what I found, some rhubarb!” Then mom would cheerfully say, “Oh. Okay.” Sounding interested but probably thinking, “What the heck does one do with a rhubarb?!?!”

Thereon she looked up rhubarb in B.C., saw “…and strawberry pie,” and likely never looked beyond the index.

Despite racing through dinner, the pies never baked any faster, and as further torment, mom always insisted on letting the pie cool for a few minutes after baking – at least until the whinging drove her crazy.

Consequently, pies were always served a bit too hot and were always a bit runny.

Since (we can’t make a crust to save our life) crusts are bad for you, a delicious alternative is a crumble:

From Will Cook for Friends, via Fork and Beans and baked in a vintage, Czechoslovakian casserole!

Somehow, and despite Jen’s tremendous temperance, half of it was consumed…