Monday, April 25, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Oh My...

Easter Sunday and no special meal plans. What's a girl to do? Family is still sick, so mom and I decided to spend time at the University Farmer's Market on Saturday to purchase fresh produce for Sunday. Our fresh finds included rhubarb and fiddle heads. (More on fiddle heads in the next blog).

So, naturally, I HAD to make Strawberry Rhubarb pie. But mom also dug up an older recipe and asked me to make Rhubarb Cake. The recipe is from her favorite cookbook which is a "home-made" compilation of local moms and grandmas in her home town. A grandma's recipe for cake? It had to be winner.

Well, here's what went right. Both ended up tasting delicious. Here's what went wrong...

For the cake, we didn't have a clean 9 x 11 pan, so we used a 10" square pan. The cake was thicker and, as a result, the 40 minutes wasn't long enough. We hadn't noticed until my daughter asked us to cut into it and I realized that the goo sticking to the knife was not from moist and gooey cake, it was gooey batter! So back in the oven it went for ANOTHER 20 minutes.
Secondly, the cinnamon / sugar sprinkle wasn't spread evenly and so there were crusty bits that melted and just sugary "unmelted" bits.

The end result was still a tasty and moist cake. But with amendments next time, it'll be better. If you want the recipe, just leave a comment.

For the pie, well, oh my oh my here's what I did wrong! Rule number one - don't forget to put a tray UNDERNEATH that pie. When 30 minutes went by, I was in the other room when Paul was opening doors and windows and turning on the fan above the range. I ran to see smoke billowing from the oven and opened it to breath in more (cough cough) lovely fumes from the strawberry juices which were burning profusely on the bottom of the oven. And so Paul tells me the pie is ruined. Nope it isn't. I rescue the pie because I WAS going to enjoy it. I grabbed a metal spatula to begin to scrape burnt strawberry sugar from the bottom of the oven [Paul did put a tray under the pie before I arrived to rescue the pie] which was collecting at least 1/3 cup full of juices to be tossed out - what a waste) and the fire alarm went off.
Which leads to rule number two - have your phone ON when the ADT alarm company calls so you actually hear the phone and cancel the fire truck. We managed to hear the fire truck before it was called off about 100 yards from our house. Phew!
Rule number three: let the dog out, take the baby to a bedroom and close the door, and lead your 3 year old to the back porch. Elle was crying when the beeping went off. Poor thing wasn't quite fully recovered from the flu so her whine-radar was on high.

But despite the trials and tribulations, the pie was WONDERFUL. We all enjoyed a piece of it this eve.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How do mom's do it?

Okay, so what is the burning question on your mind? Is it, what is your boss gonna promise next? Well, maybe. Is it trying to figure out the secret ingredient on the Throw Down with Bobby Flay's Carribean spiced chicken wing episode? Well, that, too. But for me, it's how do working mom's do it? HOW oh HOW do they keep the house clean AND cook AND take care of the children's separate and distinct and competing needs AND manage to have their act together at work? So, I had this GREAT idea. I was thinking how great it would be to create a blog about busy moms and maybe focus on biz-e-moms. Naturally it's been done. WHATEVER. Although the focus is different. So it's still looming...
But seriously, if you are reading this and have an answer (or several answers) please please please let me know. I'm frumpy and exhausted and currently managing a household with two sick children and a sick husband...and it's EASTER WEEKEND. So mom and I are going to eat croissant (and brightly colored foil wrapped CHOCOLATE eggs) whilst the rest of the family eats matza [and drools]. Note to all, Paul is the cook in our household, so when he's sick, we all suffer. Sigh.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Eating for the very first time

Food. It's one syllable that is always on my mind. Like that first time, if I could remember, when I had a spoon shoved into my mouth at the age of 6 months. I watch it on my daughter's face. She is happy and almost pants with excitement at the thought of those seaweed green colored mushy (one syllable) peas - in a jar. Imagine how low our proverbial bar begins, from breast milk to formula to mush.
But I am a foodie and so it DOES matter whether it's good or bad mush. And now, my new mission, on the subject of one syllable words relating to food, is to find all one-syllable restaurants [starting in Seattle], and trying one restaurant a month in 2011. I'd say one per week, but with two children, it's highly unlikely we'll get out and enjoy eating when the restaurateur is giving us dirty looks for the loud company. So we'll need to proceed with caution, and find babysitters! This was, just to set the record straight, my New Year's resolution back in 2007. Or maybe it was 2008. But since our first child was born before the new year of 2008, we managed to eat at one restaurant that fateful year - Crush. So we'll begin anew, as of April, 2011.