Rhubarb, cherries, brain food, berries

This post is, you might guess, gonna be about food.

And also Squeaky, because she took the Dearliest’s commentary on almonds very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that she doesn’t ask for almonds by name anymore. She regularly reminds me now that almonds are good for your brain, and because of that, she would love some more. “May I have some brain food?”

One of my neighbors is an older woman who loves gardening, but life has left her in a place where she’s unable to do much of what she used to. She has been incredibly generous to us in sharing the fruits of her garden this year, including rhubarb (she had 8 plants 4′ high and at least as wide…she took what she wanted and said we could have the rest), cherries (2 gallons in the freezer, 2 boxes waiting to be dealt with, and tons more still on the tree), and a delightful little berry called a Saskatoon.

IMG_2845Strawberry rhubarb pie is generally the go-to rhubarb recipe around here, but I didn’t have strawberries when the rhubarb started coming in, so I looked for something else to try. I landed on a recipe for Rhubarb Bread, which I’ve now made twice. It’s like a coffee cake, but with rhubarb. I can recommend it.

The cherries have the little white worms in them, as just about every organic cherry around here does. Most of our little family doesn’t seem to care about them. Extra protein, or somesuch. (If you are also one of those people, more power to you.) Squeaky and I, however, take a particular objection to eating worms, so we very carefully go to the trouble of removing them. After trying a couple different methods (cutting/ scraping, soaking, etc.), Squeaky landed on one that is pretty quick.IMG_2874

Pit, dunk, swish.

Pit the cherry (sometimes the worm comes out with the pit!), hold 1-2 seconds in a bowl of lukewarm water, swish gently until worm washes out.

If the pitting isn’t a clear tunnel, I found it easier to cut the cherry to completely open up the inside, then dunk and swish. I lost a little more juice that way, but it’s so relieving to me knowing there ARE NO WORMS.

I’ve mentioned Saskatoon berries before on the blog, having made their discovery back when we lived on the mountain. My one regret is that I never made the time to do anything with them. Our neighbor has a few baby shrubs and invited us to pick, and so while the harvest will be pints instead of gallons, they are still delicious.

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They are smaller than a blueberry, with a milder, mellower flavor, but still yummily sweet. I like them better than blueberries, but then I’m extremely particular about blueberries to begin with.

Squeaky, who is not particular about anything berry-related, snitched all but 1/4 cup of these berries shortly after I took the photos. She’s now on a Saskatoon ban for an indeterminate amount of time.

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I don’t think she cares, though, because both our red and white raspberries are ripening up, and the blackberries aren’t too far behind.

Then there are the 2 dozen snap pea bushes in the garden, and daily picking yields about a quart right now. That will at least double in the next few days. The carrots are almost ready, and the beets, and soon our green tomatoes will be red, and…well, all the fresh food is really the only thing I love about summer, if I’m honest! 😀

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