Life is as sweet as it is difficult

Archived | May 2, 2011 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. The weather hasn’t been bad, either, though there was snow on Sunday, May Day, and a bit on Monday. It’s not the worst thing, but most things aren’t the worst thing. Almost everything isn’t.
I’ve got to be honest and say it’s been a rough stretch. The weather the least of it, really. What’s happening in the world is a lot, and can get a person preoccupied, and throw in tax issues and financial aid issues for the one going off to school and graduation and garage sales and summer coming with all of the packing for cabins and trips and gatherings and the fact that I can’t find the one recipe I’ve been craving… well. Not to unload all of my stuff on you. But there are days. And now that the sun is out I’m able to see flowers blooming and happy little bugs and the kids are out with their red balls and bikes and wiffle bats and I’m feeling a bit less frazzled and a bit more refreshed. Opening the windows helps. That breeze smells like green and light.
What I’m doing right now is making funnel cakes. My daughter said yesterday how sometimes she feels better after she eats something obnoxious, so funnel cakes for lunch it is. The tax question can wait, along with the financial aid forms. What can’t wait is my growling belly, and the piled up laundry, and the walk I’m going to take after I fill up on funnel cakes. A long walk, and without direction. Just that feeling of the earth falling away behind me as I move forward.
Life is as sweet as it is difficult. The blessed mix. Trying and true. Don’t you know.
It’s nearing pie time again, and this recipe, from a friend who can recite it, is more than good for a Mother’s Day surprise or a sunny picnic.
Good Rhubarb Pie
3.5 cups of flour
6 T sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Crisco butter shortening
1/4 cup butter
10 T ice water
Rhubarb Filling:
8 cups (or 2-lbs) rhubarb cut finely
1tsp vanilla extract,
1tsp almond extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup tapioca finely ground in coffee grinder or spice mill
3 T corn starch
1/4 cup flour
1.5 T lemon zest
1/3 of a nutmeg, fresh ground (I use a fine cheese grater)
Combine dry pie ingredients. Cut in butter and shortening, sprinkle in ice water. Toss until crumbly but don’t form into a ball. Place 2/3rds in between parchment paper and squish down and roll out (12 inch circle for bottom crust), the other third for the top crust (9-inch circle). Slide onto a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. If you go too long in the freezer it the top crust will break when you place it on top the pie filling and bottom crust. Place bottom crust in 10-inch pie plate.
Mix all rhubarb ingredients in a bowl and pour onto the center of the pie crust. Cover with top crust cut and decorate as you like. Bake at 425 for 25 minutes, lower the temperature to 350 for 45 minutes; cover the top with foil if it gets too brown. Serve with freshly whipped cream.