Creating Change…

As I curse whoever is in charge at Canada Post for this strike (how am I supposed to order all that fabric I want/need for my project ideas!!), I came across this article at Tiny Buddha on Creating Change.

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Bon Appetit’s Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata

Despite what I previously thought, I am able to do a bit of cooking and baking here and there.  Father’s Day was a perfect opportunity and I made a full Japanese dinner for my father in law at his request.  Miso soup, okinomiyaki, gyoza, japanese curry.  We ate a lot.  But no father’s day dinner is complete without dessert.  And it just so happens the young student neighbours here don’t seem to realize they have a massive pile of rhubarb going to waste in their backyard.  So I’ve been helping myself! Here is my stab at Bon Appetit’s Rhubarb and Raspberry Crostata from the May 2011 issue.  Enjoy!

Crust

  • 1 c. unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. chilled, unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. whole milk
Filling
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 4 c. 1/2″-thick slices rhubarb
  • 1-6oz. container fresh raspberries
  • 2/3 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg, beated
  • raw sugar
  • sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream
Crust-Combine both flours, sugar, and salt in a processor; blend for 5 seconds.  Add butter; pulse until butter is reduced to pea size pieces.  Whisk egg and milk in a small bowl to blend; add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form.  Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic wrap; chill at least 1 1/2 hours. 
Filling: Dissolve cornstarch in 3 tbsp. water in a small bowl; set aside.  Combine rhubarb, raspberries, and sugar in a large heavy saucepan.  Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until sugar dissolves and juices are released, about 4 minutes.  Stir in cornstarch mixture and bring to a boil (rhubarb will not be tender and slices will still be intact).  Transfer to a bowl.  Chill until cool, about 30 minutes.  
Preheat oven to 400F.  Roll out dough on a floured parchment paper to 12″ round; brush with beated egg.  Mount filling in centre of crust; gently spread out, leaving 1 1/2″ border.  Gently fold edges of dough over filling, pleating as needed.  Brush border with egg; sprinkle with raw sugar.  Slide parchment with crostata onto a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, about 45 minutes.  Let crostata cool on baking sheet on a rack.  Transfer crostata to a platter, cut into wedges, and serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
—This was soo good and the perfect summer dessert.  The photo would have been better had I taken it when it was still warm, but it was the last leftover cooled down piece when I finally thought about posting this recipe.  My crust didn’t get nearly as brown as the photo shown in the magazine, but this was a relatively simple, beautiful dessert and one I’ll be using again.  I somehow ended up with extra filling though and had to whip up an impromptu mini crumble to bake along side the crostata.  Even better!

far and away…

Well here I am, having moved away from my job and friends and everything else and slowly settling into life as much as one can be settled living out of a few bags with everything in boxes.  We said goodbye to our apartment and left at the end of last month!

What a funny life I have chosen for myself! Life without full time employment has afforded me many luxuries I had taken for granted.  I have had some great bike rides along the river and have been soaking up all the new sights and sounds and smells of summer.  Pelicans in the river, endless sheets of clouds and amazing lilacs everywhere!

There are flowers everywhere!

Speaking of flowers, I have to share these photos I took at Granville Island.  I was waiting for J about a week before I left Vancouver, and came across these massive bouquets of lilies, peonies and orchids.  There were a few “do not touch-for wedding” signs around.  My photos do not do these arrangements justice:


I have been spending time trying to rediscover who I am.  The past few years have basically been taken up with keeping up the routine, the work and the bills and the same stuff everyday.  I found that I really lacked inspiration most of the time.  I have never been able to understand the people who made all their dreams materialize while holding down a full time job, having children, belonging to whatever groups and whatever else.  I found it difficult at times to even find the will to “fill my well” so to speak.  So now I am here and after a few weeks I finally feel like I am going to be able to put some ideas out there soon and start on some crafty like projects.  Although  my mind isn’t quite focused yet as to what I want to do because right now I am so excited, I want to do everything! I think I need to order some fabric and I feel like some sewing projects might be coming on.  I am making a bit of a brainstormed list in my journal of ideas and hopefully things will crystallize a bit as I get a bit more focused and settled.

Once again I am finding, as I do when I travel, that when you take away all the things that you use to place yourself in a context, you are basically left with yourself, staring back at you.  No job, no friends around close at hand, no “stuff”-just you-stuck with yourself.  It’s an uncomfortable feeling at first, but I am looking forward to spending time with myself and making friends with myself again.  Pema Chodron says that to get to know yourself is to forget yourself.  Or that the boundaries between yourself and other people start to dissolve.  We become not so self involved.  It’s an interesting paradox.  Getting to know yourself so that you can forget yourself.  You can read more about that in her book, The Wisdom of No Escape and a little bit more here.  I know I for one still have a lot to learn on this topic.