In the kitchen together

Dear sisters,

One of the things I miss most about being together is cooking together! Growing up in a big family, the kitchen was such a hub of activity. There was always something happening there. Around mealtimes we were all recruited for various tasks–put the food in serving bowls, make sure the table was set, make sure the salt, pepper and strawberry jam were on the table for Dad, pour the water, and put out all the napkin rings.
My kitchen is much quieter in comparison. First of all, there’s only three people in my family, instead of seven! Secondly, there’s barely any counter space, so it’s hard to have more than one person prepping food at a time. Thirdly, my husband does most of the cooking, and prefers to do it alone, with a podcast or audio book on.
Sometimes I like the quiet, though. Two nights ago, after Miriam was in bed, I made this simple strawberry rhubarb tart. The crust had been chilling in the fridge for a few days so the tart came together quickly.

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Mise en place.

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See those chunks of butter in the dough? Good stuff.

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Ready for the oven.

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Finished.

I should have taken a picture of a slice of this when it was served, on a plate with ice cream. We took it to a potluck with friends last night, and it was thoroughly enjoyed. The sour tang of the rhubarb came through nicely. The crust was buttery and flakey. It tasted like early summer.

My quiet kitchen is pretty nice, but I look forward to being in the kitchen with you all again. It’s such pleasant, familiar chaos. We make good food together.

Rustic Strawberry Rhubarb Tart (my own recipe)

1 pie/tart crust–I use the basic flakey pie crust from Joy of Cooking, with all butter
3-4 stalks rhubarb, chopped
16 oz strawberries (I used organic), washed, hulled and sliced
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Let it sit for a few minutes to draw out the juices from the fruit while you roll out the crust.
Roll out the crust on a well-floured surface. Transfer the crust to a baking sheet (you can line the sheet with parchment paper). Pile the fruit mixture in the middle, then fold the sides of the crust over the fruit. Brush the top with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Slide the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling and the crust is well browned. Allow to cool, and serve with ice cream.

Love,

Rachel

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6 thoughts on “In the kitchen together

  1. I love cooking with sisters as well. Kevin is always confused because it looks like chaos when we all cook together and we get so caught up in making delicious complex food. He has no idea why we love it so much. But it is so satisfying to have worked together to make an amazing meal for the rest of the family. Some of my favorite, strongest memories of our vacations in Maine and times at home are from the meals we’ve had. That pot roast/beef stew over polenta Martha made, your sweet potato/black beans tostadas (I dream of them), our luxurious Christmas dinner at Janna’s. Food is so visceral.

  2. Yum. I feel like I need to explore using rhubarb more. This seems like a good example of food that is delicious because of its simplicity.
    Jewel, I had forgotten about that polenta stew dish! I should try that sometime. It was so good.

  3. Rach! I loved reading the reflection on your contrasting kitchen/meal times and seeing the beautiful photos of your delicious creation. It is a recipe I hope we will try soon. Maybe Dada’s day next week? I am loving the blog and reading your sisterly love!

  4. Jewel–you dream about those tostadas? I’ll gladly make them for you the next time we’re together!
    Janna–yes, this is a very simple recipe. I contemplated adding chopped crystallized ginger, or some grated orange zest, or a bit of cinnamon, but in the end I decided I wanted the flavor of the fruit to shine through.
    Jill–you’re the first non-sister to comment on the blog! Hooray! Hope you like the tart.

  5. I really do Rach. I think it was the first time I really had a non meat taco style meal and the veggies were so good together! Next time you make them for me I am watching the whole process so I can replicate it perfectly.

  6. Mmmmmm. Your butter chunks are amazing, I wish I could have a taste of this! My favorite rhubarb recipe is Smitten Kitchen’s rhubarb cobbler, and I also love the rhubarb muffins from Simply in Season. Cooking together is actually the thing I miss the most about being with all of you!

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