The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A summer's worth of fresh organic produce is what I've been dreaming of all winter long, and now the dream has come true, in the form of CSA subscription to the Dickinson College Farm!  Lucky, lucky lucky!
I took A over to retrieve our fist half share last week, and, as I read down the list of possibilities on the blackboard, this is what she chose; red leaf lettuce, bok choy, pea scapes (I had never seen those before), a bag of loose greens, a bunch of cilantro, a bunch of rhubarb, a bunch of green onions.
Coming from a family that doesn't eat much fresh food, let alone vegetables, I knew A would be intrigued with the process of looking, smelling, comparing and finally choosing what she considered to be the best of what was before her.  Had she ever seen lettuce pulled only hours earlier, still sporting shallow roots? And the bok choy?What did she think of it?
 Like a seasoned cooked, she lined up each bunch and decided on a particular candidate for our market bag. What informed her decision?  What was she looking for?  She deliberated carefully, but didn't even know the name of the vegetable in her hands.  
I can only guess that somewhere in the depths of her reptilian brain, a keen hunter-gatherer made these choices for her, and when she was satisfied, turned from the produce, clapped her hands together and said, "Let's go Brookie!"
Rhubarb is one of those things I have never experimented with, but since that was part of what A "gathered", I had to finally give rhubarb a try.
Tough stalks, poisonous, prickly leaves, sour to the max, no wonder rhubarb had flown beneath the radar.

So, this is what I tried, and I am now a rhubarb person....well, it's got a lot of sugar and butter, and I'm also a sugar and butter person, maybe more than a rhubarb person....

Strawberry Rhubarb Dessert Bars

1 1/2 C fresh rhubarb, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 C fresh strawberries, sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 C quick oats
1 C brown sugar, packed
3/4 C butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 C confectioners sugar
1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease bottom of 13x9 inch backing pan.
2. Combine rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice in saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8-12 minutes or until fruit is tender.
3. Combine granulated sugar and cornstarch in small bowl, then mix into fruit mixture.
4. Keep cooking, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil (about 1 minute).  Continue boiling until thickened (1 minute).  Remove from heat and set aside.
5. Combine all crust ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  With clean hands, crumble the mixture until it is evenly crumbled and mixed.
6. Set aside 1 1/2 C of crumb mixture.
7. Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared pan.  Spread fruit filling over crust and sprinkle evenly with reserved crumb mixture.
8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
9. Cool completely, then mix drizzle ingredients in a small bowl, drizzle over cooled bars.

We went through an entire pan of these things in one weekend, and just sort of ate out of the pan....I'm not even going to tell you how many calories are in one bar.  It doesn't matter.

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