There’s something to be said about tradition.
For one, I never thought my family recipes would share a common thread with friends in Texas, over 2000 miles away from where I’m from in Canada. Turns out at least one person here knows what Yorkshire Pudding is and how to serve it. That is to say, with a proper roast beef and brown gravy made from pan drippings.
I treated my friends to a Canadian dinner, including Yorkshire, roast beef with carrots and mushrooms, corn on the cob, a fresh cucumber salad, rye caraway bread, and rhubarb crisp with vanilla ice cream for dessert! Sadly I didn’t take dish-by-dish photos, my guests were not the food blogger sort and probably would have looked at me funny, plus it kind of detracts from the ambiance of dinner (I can sympathize with some chefs who do not allow photos to be taken in their restaurants).
However, having the kids run around doesn’t affect dinner parties AT ALL. (Insert sarcastic grin here)
I did snag a couple photos, the table setting and dessert.
Rhubarb grew like weeds at my childhood home, a small farm outside of Westlock, AB. Tradition to me means meat and veggie dinners, growing enough produce to last several months into the harsh winter, canning tomatoes, baking bread, taking cookies to the wheat fields and flagging down my father for their delivery, stealing sips of his coffee from a thermos, Indian Summers, skating on the frozen dugout, and the absolute quiet of my soul knowing I was in a safe place with my family. It’s amazing what a few traditional recipes can conjure up inside of you. New traditions will be added and some of the old will be amended to fit this fast-paced modern life. But sometimes you have to take the time to do things right and pass along that knowledge and love. I’ve always wanted to cook for people, do I have the heart of a chef? Or a Grandmother who stuffs you to the brim with her traditional dishes and treats, with an extra serving for the road in case you didn’t get your fill (and you never did)?
I wish this dinner was shared with my family, tucked away in a quiet farm-house in the middle of nowhere. Instead, I opened my home and heart to friends who are becoming a part of the family. And I stuffed them to the brim. They were as happy to eat my food as I was to host them. It certainly won’t be the last time.
This dessert is one that can be made by sight/feel/smell and doesn’t need much measuring, I’ll give you a guide:
In a baking dish mix the following:
- 3 stalks fresh rhubarb, trimmed of all leaves, diced
- 1 Green Apple, peeled and diced
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, recommend freshly ground for Savory Spice Shop
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 cup sugar
In a separate bowl combine:
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 2 – 4 tablespoons butter cut into cubes, room temperature
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
The oats should be distributed well with the other ingredients, it may be a bit clumpy and that’s perfect. It will bake on top like granola chunks.
Sprinkle the oat topping over the rhubarb and apple filling. Do not press flat. Bake at 350 F for at least 45 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy with the filling bubbling around the edge.
The crisp is best served the day you bake it as the oats absorb the juices of the rhubarb quite quickly. I recommend letting it cool to room temperature, maybe 90 degrees, then serving it with vanilla ice cream.