We’re potty training right now. This is a food blog so I won’t go into the beat your head against the wall details other than to say we were driving home from the dentist today (our only permitted excursion because I had canceled several times already), the sun was shining, and I really, really wanted ice cream. And could not have any because we’re potty training (needed to get home fast). And like I said the sun was shining, the weather is unseasonably warm, which also made me long for spring farmer’s markets, with rhubarb and strawberries and green garlic.
So I did what any reasonable person would do, and I hauled out last year’s local, seasonally frozen rhubarb and blueberries (because alas strawberries do not freeze well) and I made a crisp to eat with ice cream. And you know what? It was better than a trip to the ice cream parlour.
As long as we are kind of on the topic, I am excited to report that last year I answered a query about how I keep my pantry (it came to me via a friend of mine in publishing) and some of my answers–especially the one regarding seasonally freezing your favorite produce–were included in the book. It is Jeanne Muchnick’s Dinner for Busy Moms: Easy Strategies for Getting Your Family to the Table (Simple Solutions for Families) and I am about one third of my way through it right now. It is full of great tips across a pretty wide spectrum, meaning there are tips for moms who don’t cook, for working moms with 10 minutes to get dinner on the table and for moms like me, who have a bit more time and who already cook regularly but still need to streamline the process.
1 cup pecan halves, chopped fairly small but not tiny
2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 t fine salt
1 cup light brown sugar3/4 cup AP flour
1/2 t Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1 1/2 lbs fresh or frozen blueberries
2 lbs chopped rhubarb, fresh or frozen
juice of half lime (I used more but it was a bit too sour so I am guessing as to this amount)
1/2 t fine salt1 cup sugar
2/3 cup AP flour
Preheat the oven at 350 F for frozen fruit or 375 F for fresh. Reduce by 25 degrees for convection ovens (I did use mine).
Mix all of the dry ingredients for the topping. Cut the butter into them–I do this in a stand mixer on speed 2 which saves a lot of hassle. Set aside.
Toss the filling ingredients together until everything is evenly distributed. Dump the filling into the pan and smooth it even if it is not. Pick up the topping in handfuls and squeeze it into clumps, covering the whole pan. Place it in the oven–bake for 40-50 minutes, until bubbling and browned for fresh. For frozen, baked for 25 minutes, then increase the temperature to 375 F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until bubbling and browned. I start with a lower temperature for the frozen to give the inside time to catch up with the outside.
Preferably cool completely before slicing but as you may be able to tell from my pictures, we could not wait. Serve with a good vanilla bean ice cream.