The moment I saw rhubarb at the St. Lawrence Market, I knew I had to buy some. It was the sign of the beginning of summer, after all. But I picked up a stalk apprehensively and asked the vendor, “The leaves are poisonous, right?”. He responded, “You haven’t made rhubarb before?”. He then went on to explain how to prepare the rhubarb and a couple other older men listened in and gave their opinions.
We finally reached a consensus on making rhubarb compote: Bring 3/4 to 1 lb chopped rhubarb, 1/2 cup of water and 4 tbsp of sugar to a boil then down to a simmer before the rhubarb breaks apart too much, and stir in some orange peel near the end.
Enjoy it on crepes!
With granola and yogurt in a Mason jar (jar optional)!
Since then I’ve made a few different kinds of dishes with rhubarb.
Rhubarb Crumb Cake
Rhubarb Spice Cake
and la pièce de résistance: Rhubarb Strawberry Crumb Pie by Joy the Baker
Pie crust used to stress me out, but I decided that I would no longer let it intimidate me. So what if it tears a bit or shrinks or if it’s not perfectly flaky? It’ll still taste good. Honestly, the thought of making apple pie for the first time is the only thing that is making autumn appealing to me right now. I’ll take summer forever, please, thanks.
Rhubarb is no longer in season, but I still have a few stalks in the freezer. Hmm, I wonder what I should make with it now.
Bonus: Out of focus strawberry rhubarb ice cream from Ed’s Real Scoop. Mmm.
I know most don’t associate summer with a hot oven, but I quite enjoy baking so I’ve taken advantage of some more free time to bake. I did try to make summery baked goods though.
First, browned butter blueberry muffins from Joy the Baker’s cookbook. This was my first time making browned butter and I can see how intoxicating it is! I need some more practice browning butter, but I don’t mind that opportunity. That said, these muffins are definitely not the healthy kind.
I made a lime ginger cake with a lime frosting. I liked the idea of using ginger with a bright flavour like lime, since most of the time I think of ginger with molasses and wintertime.
Peanut butter bacon pancakes… yep.
Lastly, a non-food shot: I’ve been going back home more frequently and I snapped this shot at Union waiting for the train. There’s a lotof work going on and it’s quite exciting.
Whoosh, March went by quickly.
There were a few green smoothies.
And maple olive oil banana bread made with Greek yogurt.
My parents came over last night for Easter dinner since the kitchen is undergoing renovations. My sister roasted us a leg of lamb, which was delish! I unfortunately did not contribute to this dinner since I’ve been busy with year-end stuff, like usual. I did help with clean up though. Secret: I’ve discovered the magic of the dishwasher. Apparently it can be just as water-efficient as dish washing by hand depending on how full you load the dishwasher. I still love getting through a sink of dishes though.
I had a sunny Easter morning with a hot cross bun my parents gave us. I used to dislike hot cross buns when I was younger, but this was lovely. It didn’t have those weird red or green “cherries”, though there were still some raisins and some dried peel as well as a good nutmeg kick. Still, I think hot crossed buns are an acquired taste.
I hope April isn’t too rainy.
As I mentioned earlier, the first day of Chinese New Year was last Sunday.
My mom made us breakfast with all the “go” she had made the week before. “Go” has the texture of pudding. She made a variety of go, which I really need to learn how to make soon: savoury (turnip, taro) and sweet (coconut, water chestnut and red bean). What a spread! I felt so lucky.
Later on in the day we went to my aunt’s house for other goodies and to wish everyone a happy new year. My cousins dropped by with their families. There were so many babies, toddlers and kids. Our family gatherings are certainly growing.
For dinner we went to the restaurant we always go to for Chinese New Year because they bring in people to do a dragon dance. The children loved it. It seems very hard to do the dragon dance because the dancers are either supporting the head or the fabric that flows from the head that acts as the body of the “dragon”.
On one of my busy days I got some sushi from a nearby surprisingly good take-out sushi place. This was a brown rice avocado and salmon roll. It was so delicious and they were really generous with the fish.
But luckily, I finally had the chance to make something in the kitchen again.
I had some ground chicken hanging around my freezer for way too long–I just had no idea what to do with it. I read about meatloaf muffins which used ground beef in my now go-to recipe book, Fast Flavours, and I decided to use my ground chicken instead. After browsing some other “chicken meatloaf muffin” recipes online, I chose the ingredients I liked in the different recipes and then really tried cooking “without a recipe” and without (too much) measuring. What an interesting change!
These chicken meatloaf muffins ended up including oats, one egg, two finely diced celery stocks, half a shredded carrot, a little Sriracha, a good tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper. I baked them for about half an hour. They tasted pretty good and I was quite happy with myself.
I also finally opened the immersion blender I got for Christmas. I made my first smoothie out of frozen blueberries, yogurt, oats and half a banana. Yum!
This weekend is Chinese New Year, so I’m back home. Tomorrow is Chinese New Year’s Eve, and my immediate family and I will have our “reunion” dinner. On Chinese New Year’s Day (Sunday), I have a fam jam with my extended family. It’s always a good time and I can’t wait.
Sometimes life feels like this.
I was so excited to try the new quinoa I got from Costco—got to love my mom’s membership—and I was equally excited to have it for breakfast. I must have gotten distracted though. Luckily, the burned bits were surprisingly easy to scrub off, and the quinoa was fine, just crunchy.
Life can look pretty good too, like this roasted sausage, fennel, and peppers dish I made, from a recipe Michael Smith’s Fast Flavours. I wish life were this easy sometimes. Alrighty, this life analogy is on its last legs now.
I love fennel, amd this was my first time buying and making it. I saved the fronds, which smelled divine, in the freezer to put in a vegetable stock at some point. They may also just hang around the freezer until I have to throw it out. Don’t waste food, Bea!