Each holding a fork, we shared a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie at Wild Crumb last Friday. Jagged pieces of crystalized sugar were caramelized to the tops of the irregularly sized lattice hatches – some pieces an inch wide, some less, some a little more. It was rustic and beautiful, at least before the forks got involved.
My daughter and I savor our together days, the rare ones, free from middle school, little brothers, and meetings, days like last Friday, days for sharing pie and being spontaneous. It might have been the pie, or the free time, but something pumped up my endorphins enough to get me from “thinking about” to actually purchasing and delivering a little thank you gift. I sent the recipient a quick text, and was surprised to hear right back that she had a 45 minute break in her typical back-to-back, full-on schedule. My daughter and I enjoyed the last bites of pie and took off on the mission.
If you’re a fan of Rifle Paper Co., you may have seen the little notebook designed with the Henri Matisse quote, “There are always Flowers for those who Want to See them.” Every time I look at mine, it cheers me, and I wanted my friend to have the same one. Happy to find them still for sale at HeyDay, I asked the sales gal to wrap and I set to work on the card. Just the right words flowed from my pen after she thoughtfully turned off the stereo. I tucked the card underneath the little rectangle wrapped in peach colored paper and set off across the street. At my friend’s office, we hugged, and shared a quick stand-up chat, then my daughter and I were on our way. The whole thing, from the last bite of pie to store, to office, to hug, took about thirty minutes. If you’re thinking of doing something sweet for someone, stop thinking about it and do it. Smiles and hugs await.
Technically a vegetable, rhubarb acts like a fruit because it typically shows up in desserts, providing a pleasant tartness to sweet things like pie filling and jam. Most strawberry-rhubarb concoctions have you add the strawberries after you’ve cooked the rhubarb, but I decided against this method and took a “jam approach”, cooking the strawberries to put my mind at east regarding any potential bacteria. I think most recipes that add raw, sliced strawberries are assuming you’ll eat the sauce immediately rather than storing it for a few days. Since I wanted a sauce to last several days, I cooked the berries for five minutes, and it turned out great. I hope you’ll try it.
- 4 stalks rhubarb, sliced crosswise into approximate 1/4-inch pieces (3 - 4 cups total)
- 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- optional: 6 mint leaves, sliced into thin ribbons ("chiffonade")
- Combine rhubarb, sugar, honey and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat. Turn down the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover, and cook for five minutes, stirring a couple times during the time.
- Stir in the sliced strawberries and continue to cook, covered, for five additional minutes.
- Let cool and store in a covered glass jar in the refrigerator. Keeps one week. Spoon over plain yogurt, ice cream, panna cotta, or use a few tablespoons to add fruit and sweetness to a smoothie.