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Motor City Homestead » Cooking

Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Rhubarb

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

We always grow lots and lots of rhubarb.  It’s one of the first pieces of produce to ripen in the spring, and it’s great to start eating fresh from the garden in May.  If you’ve never had rhubarb, it has the texture of celery, but is very tart - similar to a lemon.  Only the stalks are edible.  The leaves are actually poisonous. 

Rhubarb

Since we always have a ton of rhubarb growing around our yard (2 or 3 gigantic plants) I decided this year I was going to find the perfect Rhubarb crisp recipe, and I kept making new batches (to the everlasting joy of my family) until I came upon this one.  My search is over.  This is the recipe I’m sticking with.  I know there is a ton of sugar in it - but rhubarb isn’t naturally sweet like apples or peaches, so it needs extra sugar if it’s going to taste like a dessert.  I am going to mess with the sugar content and see if I can swap out honey for some, or just reduce it.  But for now, this is a great recipe.  Enjoy.

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 cup all purpose flour

3/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup melted butter

1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 cups sliced rhubarb

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup water

1 teaspoon vanilla

In mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, butter, and cinnamon.  Mix together until crumbly.  Press half of the brown sugar and oats mixture into a buttered 8 x 8 baking dish.  Top with the sliced rhubarb.

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup granulated sugar, cornstarch, water, and vanilla.  Cook together until clear, then pour over rhubarb.  Top rhubarb with remaining crumb mixture and bake at 350 for 45 - 55 minutes.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Site news and Winter Adventures

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Hey everybody.  After months of wondering why no-one ever posts comments, I realized that I have to view and approve them before they show up.  So for everyone who has commented in the past six months, I’m so sorry.  I’ll do a better job from here on out.  For everyone who hasn’t posted comments . . . Hey - check out all the comments on the blog.  There’s a ton of them.

 In other news, we lit what is probably our final fire for the season today.  We’re pretty much out of wood, and the days are in the 40s or 50s - not quite cold enough to really enjoy a fire.  I know fireplaces are notoriously inefficient and wasteful, but my family enjoys them more than almost any other group activity.  The first words I heard when coming home from work all winter long were, “Daddy, can you make us a fire?”  We were curled up in front of our hideously painted fireplace this afternoon, and I remembered an adventure that we took pictures of, but never posted. 

This January we decided to cook a meal in the fireplace.  It was supposed to be simple, just hot dogs and s’mores, but I had an idea I wanted to try.  I’ve seen several bread recipes that call for baking in a cast-iron dutch oven, and I’ve always wanted to try it out.  Without time for the traditional rise and knead, I whipped up a quick soda bread to cook in our dutch oven in the fireplace.  I let the fire get really hot, and once we had lots of coals, I raked the flames over to one side, and left the coal bed on the other side of the fireplace.  It looks quite little-house-on-the-prairie-ish if I do say so myself.

Cast Iron on fire

Everything was going smashingly, until I opened up the pot.  Lots of smoke came out - which isn’t a good sign.  As you can see, the top of the bread looks lovely, but gets progressively worse as you head down.  First, there’s a big pocket of raw dough in the middle . . . .

Dough pocket - yum

And the bottom was burnt to a crisp.  Surprisingly, the kids wouldn’t touch it. 

Burnt bread - delish

We had a great time regardless, and ended up just eating hot dogs in front of the fire.

In front of the fire

And ended with s’mores.  Can’t go wrong there.

Smores

So, the moral of the story is to keep cooking fires really low, because no-one likes second hand smoke, especially if it’s a part of dinner.