Monday, April 06, 2009

From the Garden to the Table

The other day, I bundled Little One up and put her in the Baby Bjorn so we could enjoy a nice, long walk outside. The sky was a cloudless blue and the sun was shining warmly. Deer scattered our fields, and Sandhill Cranes bobbled up and down a few feet away from us.

On our way back from our walk, I noticed that it's almost time for me to clean out the raspberry canes. Every Spring, I have to get rid of the old canes so the new ones can grow in their place. I didn't end up getting to the cleaning out of the raspberry canes. I got distracted and baked a pie instead. Seeing the raspberry canes reminded me that I still have LOTS of raspberries in the freezer from last Summer's pickings. We picked raspberries almost every day and we still had more than we could handle!

It was my MIL's birthday last week and instead of making a birthday cake, I baked her a pie. Because we try to be as "green" as we can, we try to grow a lot of our own produce and we try to buy locally whenever we can. We are fortunate to a) live on a farm where we can grow most of our veggies and fruits, and b) live on an island where there are lots of farmers' markets and local growers.

Buying locally is so important because we not only support local farmers, but we also cut shipping and fuel costs, and reduce our carbon footprint. There is a long list of reasons why buying locally has its benefits. I may ask Hubby to blog about it on Green Is Her New Blog when he gets a chance.

Here are two things that I made "from the garden to the table":
Asparagus and Zucchini Ribbons Salad
We have lots and lots of asparagus in our garden(s) and my MIL and my Dad both grow zucchini (so I didn't bother planting any zucchini last year). This recipe is an adaptation of FoodNetworks' Giada De Laurentiis' Asparagus and Zucchini Crudi. I didn't have any shaved Pecorino Romano, so I just omitted it. I'm sure it would have added a lovely zip to the dish, but it tasted just as delicious without it.

Raspberry-Apple-Rhubarb Pie
Because we have an abundance of raspberries, apples and rhubarb on our farm, I had to figure out as many ways of using them in recipes. Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2/3 cup shortening

6-7 tablespoons of cold water

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

4 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

2 cups
fresh or frozen raspberries
1 medium cooking apple
, peeled and shredded (about 3/4 cup)
1-2 tablespoon
of milk
2-3 tablespoons sugar (optional)


1. In a medium bowl stir together the 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening until pieces are pea-size.
2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cold water over part of the mixture; gently toss with a fork. Push moistened dough to sides of bowl. Repeat, using 1 tablespoon cold water at a time, until all of the dough is moistened.
3. Divide dough in half. Form each half into a ball.
4.On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the pastry into a 12-inch circle, line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry.
5. Trim pastry 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate. Fold under extra pastry.
6. Line pastry with double thickness of foil. Bake in a 450 degree F oven for 8 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 5 to 6 minutes more or until golden brown.
7. Cool on a wire rack. On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle.
8. Using a 2- to 3-inch cutter, cut pastry into desired shapes(leaves are a nice choice), cover cutouts loosely; set aside. I used snowflake cutters from Watkins, but Hubby said they looked more like stars when they came out.
9. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan stir together the sugar, cornstarch, and 2 tablespoons flour and stir in rhubarb, raspberries, and apple.
10. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until fruit begins to juice out then increase heat to medium and cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
11. Transfer to the baked pie shell. Brush edge of pie with milk and place pastry cutouts over fruit filling and around the edge of the pie.
12. Brush pastry cutouts with milk and, if desired, sprinkle with sugar.
13. Bake in a 375 degree F oven about 25 minutes or until pastry is golden brown, cool on a wire rack. Makes 8 servings.
Before I sign off, here's another silly video for you :) My nieces will tell you that their Crazy Auntie C loves to make up words to songs. I always make up lyrics just to get a laugh out of them. I know I'm a goofball, but it's so very worth it when I get Little One to smile or laugh :)


t said...



C said...

Yes, it's true. Sadly, I will do anything to get a smile or giggle out of Little One...even if it means sounding like a total dork! :)

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

You have the most beautifully delightful singing voice. It was so wonderful to HEAR you and to see how Little One reacts with such awe and joy at her Mommy's voice. And you song is pretty cool, too. Will you do this for every month?!

And I LOVE rhubarb. My former neighbor and good friend used to make the most delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie... but your recipe with seems out of this world. I love the stars, too. I am so going to use your recipe and cut-out suggestion. I will give all the credit to you, too, when people ask how I can be so creative!!

You amaze me... as a Mommy, a wife and family gal, a teacher... and a wonderful, wonderful friend! You and your island truly are a big slice of paradise!

hotmommy said...

chris- that pie looks amazing! i'd give your recipe a try but you know me; homemade from a box! do you think i can use ready made pie crust and just do your filling? would a double crust pie work with this recipe? i want to impress my in laws for easter but you know i am the worlds shittiest cook. ok i am the worlds most lazy cook. i hate cooking but would love to take credit for something so beautiful as that pie of yours!

C said...

The singing...*sigh* Well, anything to make Little One smile! I bet she thinks her Mom is goofy, because she always smiles! :)

Oh, DO try the pie recipe and DO let me know how it turns out! It certainly is a crowd pleaser! It is deeeeeeeeeelicious AND really pretty. It looks more labour intensive than it really is! The cut out pieces are really impressive. Hubby said he thought it would have looked nice with some lattice work instead of pie crust cut outs. I thought the cut outs were pretty. Everybody does lattice work or double crust pie shells. I wanted to be different :)

C said...

Hot Mommy:
Thanks! You can definitely use a ready-to-use pie crust if you want. I guess you could just follow the directions on the box and use my pie filling recipe. I don't know what temp or how many minutes. I haven't used ready-to-bake pie shells before. I'm sure it would turn out really well though!

The apple is a great addition to the raspberry and rhubarb because it sort of acts like a 'gel' with its own sugars creating natural pectin.

To answer your other question, you can definitely do a double crust pie. The only thing is that the fruit filling is so pretty (like a crimson red) that it has a more dramatic look if you do a lattice or cut out version. The double crust really covers the beautiful colour of the fruit. Just my opinion :)

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how little ones can made us so the silliest things!!! My kids got a kick out me riping paper!!! I wish I would of had a vidoe cam to show them when their older!!! Keep up the great work! Oh, and I;m with you when it comes to making things that come from your own garden! It just tastes so different and fresh!!! I can;t wait to move in to my house, there's a huge back yard, and as soon as I can see where the mist sunny place is, you know I'll be getting my hands dirty! I've been living with potted gardens for way too long!!! TATA

Cherry said...

You really amaze me C!
She sings, mothers, gardens, cooks. You are remembering to sleep and stuff right?

Of course Little is all adorable but HELLO GORGEOUS PIE! I agree that the filling is too beautiful to cover up. I continue to be jealous of your creations and your gardens.

You just have good skills at making beautiful things. Whether it is babies or food. SKILLED WOMAN ALERT!

Jeanna said...

What a tasty garden you have. You thought of some great food combos. The cranes have been hanging out here for a week or two.
Happy belated bd to LO.

Dina said...

first- LOVE the video. R-A is adorable and getting so big already!!

Second- that salad looks so yummy!! i have most of the ingrediants and i think i'm going to try it!

Third...yummm on the pie too!! Too bad it's Passover as of tomorrow or i would have gone to get a delish pie myself!!

C said...

When are you moving? I think I mentioned to you on FB that we'll be in MTL next month for my cousin's wedding. If we have enough time, it would be great to meet up with you. I wonder if we can also get together with Anita A too? I'm so sad I didn't get to make it to the reunion. I was looking forward to seeing everyone.

Word verification: undour! LOL! That's how my friend's toddler says 'underwear'!

C said...

Awww :) You are so sweet. You, however, are a far superior baker than I am! To be honest, making pie crusts isn't my forte. My MIL makes the most amazing pie crust. I'm not much of a pie person and I don't really like pie crust. My MIL jokes that THAT is how she knows I can't possibly be her kid. They all love pie and pie crust.

I prefer baking cheese cakes and tortes. When Hubby and I were dating and when we were first married, I used to do a lot of baking. Now I don't, because if I don't make any sweets, there is no temptation. He loves his sweets :) It runs in his family.

C said...

I actually thought of you when I posted the pie pics. I don't know why. How you doin' anyway? LO is asleep now, so I'm off to catch up on your blog. XO

C said...

I was watching the Martha Stewart Show while BF LO yesterday, and since you can't eat or bake a pie for Passover, maybe you could make a Matzo House? Maybe I'll write a post on it for you :) I think it looks so cute and it looks like something fun to try out as a family with the kids. Maybe not with very young kids though! Ellie's age would be good!

J at said...

Crap that pie looks AWESOME. I LOVE raspberries, but a plain raspberry pie is somehow too much for me. Raspberry jam? I'm all over it. My SIL made a bunch once, and we loved it so much she sent us more. (She lives in Juneau, Alaska, which I suspect has weather similar to where you are, at least berry wise). I found out later that she lovingly sent us her LAST JAR! Can you imagine? That's a keeper of an SIL, I gotta say. I told my Step mom that once, and the next time I went to visit in Oregon, she made me a raspberry pie. Which is how I know that a straight raspberry pie is just too much for me. But I could never tell her that, because again, WOW.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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