I’m currently in Portland visiting my cousin Kristin and her husband Dick. When I had booked my flight I mentioned that I’d love to cook for them while I was their guest. To my delight their neighbor had given them rhubarb from his magnificent garden and I offered to make my favorite Rhubarb Custard pie. They had beautiful strawberries and Dick asked if we could add those as well, absolutely!
Using my Mom’s Piecrust Recipe, Kristin and I made two 10 inch pie crusts. Twice, though that was not the plan. Chatting too much I botched one tiny step in the first batch and it was impossible to roll out. The second batch was perfect. Then onto the pie recipe:
Rhubarb Strawberry Custard Pie – recipe for one pie
1 10 inch pie crust (unbaked)
3 c Rhubarb – 1/4 inch dice
1 1/2 c sliced strawberries
1 1/2 c sugar
3 T milk
3 T flour
1/4 fresh grated nutmeg
1 T cold butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the rhubarb and strawberries, spread over the pie crust.
Whisk together the eggs, sugar, flour, milk and nutmeg, pour over filling.
Place the pie on a cookie sheet, then into the oven on the lowest rack (this helps to cook the crust on the bottom). Bake for 35 minutes, remove and sprinkle sugar over the top of the pie. Place back in the oven, turning the pan 180 degrees to get even browning on the crust. Bake another 30 minutes watching for the crust to brown and remove to cool, the center of the pie will still be a bit jiggly. Cool at least 2 hours and then enjoy it!
After years of apartment living, I moved into my house in 1986 and discovered a passion for gardening. I’d admired vibrant, showy poppies in other people’s flowerbeds but despite my efforts to grow them from seed I never had any luck.
A few years ago I was visiting my step-daughter and admiring her poppies, in full bloom by the front porch. Upon closer inspection of the green base of the plants I realized that I had been growing poppies every year – and pulling them out as they looked like big prickly weeds. The poor things had never had a chance.
Armed with knowledge (and a lack of patience) I dispensed with the idea of starting them from seeds that summer and headed to my local nursery. I bought the three colors shown below – red, pink and peach and they have been exceptional every year. There is something both bold and delicate about them and for sure there is a “pop” of color from these tall beauties gracing my gardens.
That same day I purchased Alpine Poppies. Tiny and delicate, this petite poppy is also incredibly durable and it’s tiny seeds must scatter everywhere evidenced by the number of them that have sprung up in between pavers and patio bricks, sidewalk cracks and along my fence. They even survived, in fact thrived, when our driveway was paved last year. My rule – if it’s a flower, let it bloom regardless of where it pops up.
This is the second post in my new series, Cooking for One. Since losing Spence almost three months ago, it’s taken time to regain my appetite and rediscover my passion for cooking. Thankfully the desire to create and savor delicious meals has slowly returned. In sharing these ideas, I hope that even when it’s just you, you’ll feel inspired to make something special – you’re worth it!
Fontina & Prosciutto Flatbread with Figs & Balsamic Reduction
1 piece of Naan
fresh cracked black pepper
red pepper flakes
sliced Fontina cheese
thin sliced prosciutto, torn into smaller pieces
chopped or sliced figs
thin sliced red onion
fresh baby spinach
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a cast iron skillet (or baking stone) with olive oil and place into the oven for five minutes. While the skillet heats, brush the top of the Naan with olive oil, add cracked black pepper and red pepper flakes, then add slices of fontina covering the top. Next add the proscuitto, figs, red onion and chopped pistachios. Place the flatbread into the skillet and return to the oven for ten minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and immediately top with a handful of spinach then a good drizzle of balsamic reduction. I enjoyed this with a lovely glass of Prosecco.
Note: Naan is such a quick and delicious product to use for a quick flatbread or pizza – try any combination of fun toppings – there’s simply no limit!