Valentine’s Day Dessert

My dear friend and Reiki Master, Libby Barnett put together a lavish birthday basket for my husband Lee, full of all things healthy including our favorite protein bars, organic jelly beans, almonds, coconut water and pomegranates!  It ended up being a gift to us all and the pomegranates inspired our new favorite dessert – Pomegranate seeds over vanilla ice cream!

Simple and delicious and the vibrant red makes it a perfect dessert for Valentine’s Day!

Andie and I disagreed about how to cut open the pomegranates.  She was a fan of the method recommended on this site www.thekitchn.com while I chose the immersion in water method recommended on this site www.simplyrecipes.com.  We’d love to know if you have a favorite way!

Perhaps the photographic evidence will help you decide which method you’d prefer!

Andie’s method.
My method.

Despite our disagreement about approach, we both agree that the result is delicious! I hope you get a chance to try it!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us know if you do!

Any favorite Valentine’s Day recipes to share from your end? Tucker would be extremely grateful for something involving less fruit and more sugar and flour!

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Rites of Passage


When Tucker was a little guy, he’d fashion fishing poles out of sticks and string and hang his “rods” over the back of the kitchen sofa.  A bite from a big one, would require great effort and lots of groaning until he successfully reeled in his imaginary catch.

His first “real” rod was red and all of three feet long, with Mickey Mouse on the reel and a little, yellow rubber fish attached to the line.

It wasn’t long until the reel without a hook was no longer satisfactory, and Tuck graduated to a new real rod, hook and all.  He learned how to put on worms and release the fish he’d caught.  Every vacation, he made sure his fishing pole was the first thing in the car.

But as he grew older, his interest in fishing waned, replaced by more active endeavors like skateboarding, biking and basketball.

Yet just this past Memorial Day, there he was casting a line way out into the water.  “I haven’t seen him fish in ages,” I said to my husband who was sitting nearby, changing the lure on his rod.

“Look at the picture on the camera and you’ll know why,” he said.

I turned on the camera and saw the picture they’d taken just before releasing the large-mouth bass Lee had caught.

“No wonder he’s inspired,” I said.

By late afternoon, Tucker had caught five small perch.

“He won’t let these fish go,” Andie complained, staring into the bucket where the six-inch fish were swimming around.

“I want to cook them for dinner,” Tuck said, flipping his hair out of his eyes, which were big with excitement.  I noticed the sun had lured a few new freckles out on his nose.

“Dinner?” I asked, thinking of the nearly packed car and the early bedtime I’d wanted for the kids.

“Yeah.  I’ve made dinner before, but that was food from the grocery store.  This is dinner I caught for my family.”

Looking into the wide eyes of my soon to be thirteen year old son, I knew this was a significant event.

“OK,” I said.  “Go ask Daddy if he knows how to clean a fish.”

Andie was distraught.  “You can’t kill those fish,” she cried.  “I won’t eat them.”

“Andie you love fish,” Tucker reminded her.

“Those are fish from the store,” she said, prompting a discussion on food sources.  Later she “accidently” let one go, but Lee helped her catch a replacement, which she reluctantly put in the bucket with the others.

As Lee and Tuck covered the picnic table with newspaper and sharp knives, Andie hovered nearby.  She squealed when Tucker cut the heads off the still wriggling fish, but his squared shoulders seemed to be say Look at me providing sustenance for my family.

Five little perch isn’t a lot of sustenance, but with baked beans and left over pasta, it amounted to quite a meal.

We each had a few 1×3 inch fillets that Tuck had dredged in milk and breadcrumbs and fried in butter.  Andie, who wasn’t going to eat her little friends, pleaded with everyone to share a little more off their plate with her.

The fish was truly delicious.  But even more delicious was witnessing my boy take a step toward manhood, swelling with pride as he demonstrated his ability to care for those he loves.

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Rhubarb?

If you’ve read my blog entry “Getting Dirty” you know I’ve been inspired to become more agriculturally astute. My latest lesson was about rhubarb. I’d never cooked with it and frankly, had no desire. Then my kids and I had the experience of plucking it straight from the field and learning that as an early spring crop, it’s loaded with nutrients (vitamins A & C, potassium and calcium) that we need after our long, cold northeastern winters.

After tossing the toxic leaves on top of the compost heap, and gathering up the long red stalks, I asked what to do with them. Do I peel the long strings off? Nope. It turns out that after a wash, all to do is chop into 1/2 inch, ready to cook pieces.

Is it a fruit or a vegetable? I asked. Not finding that answer in the field, I turned to Wikipedia, where I learned that rhubarb was considered a vegetable in the U.S. up until 1947. Then a New York court decided that becasue it was used more like a fruit (pies and jams), it should be deemed a fruit, and thus taxed like a fruit (lower than veggies I assume).

Armed with more “Dirty Life” knowledge, I was ready to bake and found a recipe for a Strawberry-Rhubarb-Crumb Pie that truly couldn’t be easier or more delicious. So if you bump into rhubarb at the grocery store or farmer’s market, don’t run the other way! I’ve now made this pie four times! Not only are my kids eating it for after school snack and dessert, they’re having it for breakfast, too!

I buy ready-made frozen pie shells (I don’t eat wheat, so I substitute gluten free pie shells and flour in my pies). For the crumble, use cold butter. If you have one of these tools it makes cutting in butter really easy. Otherwise use a fork and your hands!

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you’re a hero!

Here’s the recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/strawberryrhubarb-crumb-pie/Detail.aspx

Ingredients

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 pound fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie shell
  • TOPPING:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking or rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cold butter

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg. Add the sugar, flour and vanilla; mix well. Gently fold in rhubarb and strawberries. Pour into pastry shell.
  2. For topping, combine flour, brown sugar and oats in a small bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly. Cool on a wire rack.

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