food, glorious food

Hi sisters.

I have felt my creative cooking energy returning with the influx of fresh produce with the start of summer. I thought I’d share with you what’s been happening in our kitchen recently.

My love affair with rhubarb continues. I’m so intrigued by it. It’s used mostly in desserts but it’s sour. I love that! I’ve been playing around with having it as the centerpiece of a dessert rather than always pairing it with something else. Recently I made this galette which turned out great, so I made it again. Caution: use less sugar than what is listed, if you want the nice sour flavor to come through. I used maybe 1/3 a cup the first time I made it and it was great. The second time I followed the recipe more closely (I probably added 1/2 cup, maybe more?) and it was a bit too sweet.

I also like to make rhubarb simple syrup for cocktails. It’s such a pretty light pink color and it adds a unique flavor to drinks. We made this cocktail with the simple syrup and enjoyed it (note: use less sugar for the syrup–you definitely don’t need a full cup!). You’ll notice that the cocktail and the galette both pair rhubarb with ginger–it’s a great combination.

All the rhubarb in all the things! Cocktails and galette.
All the rhubarb in all the things! Cocktails and galette.

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My chocolate chip secret

Dear sisters,

Somehow I’ve perfected making chocolate chip cookies. That is, if you want crispy on the bottom, chewy in the center chocolate chip cookies. This is one of the recipes I have memorized, maybe because I’ve been making it at least once a month for the last 3 years. I always feel a bit sad if I don’t have chocolate chip cookie dough in the freezer.

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Hidden Gems in Children’s Music

Dear sisters,

For my job I get to listen to some great Children’s Music since I take care of the music CD collection for the department. There have been a few musicians I just had to share with you, my music loving family, because they’re so great!

The Okee Dokee Brothers make me think of your family, Rachel! I feel like this would be fun listening for you all. Two best friends, who are now based in Minneapolis, write bluegrass/American roots music that really is fun for kids and parents who enjoy that genre. The lyrics aren’t overly simplistic or “kidsy.” My favorite cds are their “Field Journals.” The first one, “Can You Canoe?” was written on a month long canoeing trip down the Mississippi. There is a CD and DVD in this collection and it has many lovely songs, so many that they won a Grammy for it! I’ve listened to it exactly once and I already have songs from it stuck in my head. I could see Miriam dancing along :-). So much of their music reminds me of Wailing Jennys and Alison Krauss. They released a second Field Journal about a month long hiking adventure on the Appalachian Trail. I wish I was the type of person who would enjoy that, it sounds pretty idyllic. Music-making and nature, my favorite things!

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