Tuesday, July 16, 2019

AN ODE TO MY FAVOURITE PIE

Rhubarb is not something you often see left uncomplicated or on its own. Bakers everywhere seem to believe it can't hold its own - a world duped into muddying it up with strawberries, raspberries, or custard.


My grandma was famous for her rhubarb pie. In the early summer, she would make them by the dozens, freezing the majority to be enjoyed during the out-of-season months. For as long as I can remember, it has been my undisputed favourite - a recipe that drops me right back at my grandparents dining room table

Each summer, when the giant leaves begin to peek and the beautiful red stocks show up at farmers markets and grocery stores near by, my daydreams immediately turn to my grandma. I have an unwritten rule that I only make one rhubarb pie per season - primarily because I'm unable to control myself from eating every last crumb when it's around. I can allow this indulgence with a single pie, but more than that seems unreasonable. Also, the Calgarian in me cries actual tears each time I pay real money for rhubarb at the market - a ‘weed’ that thrives abundantly through Calgary’s bitter cold winters, and hot, dry summers. A quick walk down any alley will yield more than your arms can carry, which is not so much the case in East Vancouver, where I’m learning the stocks are harder to find in the 'wild' and, as a result, are much more coveted by their growers.

Below is my Grandma's rhubarb pie recipe - Always to be topped with a lattice pastry top (the photo above is an attempt to try to make my lattice more interesting, but i ended up with messy instead), served warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. A hot cup of tea isn't frowned upon either.

Holly Sherwood's Rhubarb Pie
3 cups chopped rhubarb
3 Tbsp flour
1 cup sugar
1 egg - beaten
2-3 Tbsp on butter, divvied up as needed.

Chop rhubarb into small, bite-sized pieces. Add to a medium sized mixing bowl.
Combine sugar and flour and pour over rhubarb pieces. Add in beaten egg and mix everything together until the rhubarb is coated evenly.
Place rhubarb mixture in your bottom pie shell, adding several small chunks of cold butter over the top of the rhubarb filling. Seal the pie with lattice pastry top.
Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes; Reduce heat to 350 and continue baking for 30-35 minutes more.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

NINE

Last month, Finn turned nine.

Below is a birthday interview with my favourite kid.

--

What has been your favorite memory from the last year?
Our two month summer break trip to Calgary, Toronto and Fredericton - Swimming in Auntie Freddie's pool, eating three ice cream sandwiches and a fudgecicle in one afternoon, The Bucket Club.

Also when Lourdes introduced me to the Marvel movies.
I HEART MARVEL!

Oh - except in Toronto when Auntie Heather scared the pants off me.

What was the best book you read?
Spy School by Stuart Gibbs.

What's your favourite colour?
Black is my favourite shade. Red is my favourite colour.

Who inspires you? Why do you think that is?
My friend Tate - he's really funny and fun to be around. He is very smart and always stays true to himself. He's a really good friend.

What was the best movie you watched?
Maybe Iron Man. Oh, yeah - and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

What is currently your favorite food?
Beignets and Dole Whip. And the candy nachos Sid brought for snack one time (apple slices with caramel and Oreo chunks on top.) 
  
What is currently your least favorite food?
Baby tomatoes. I hate how they explode when you bite into them.

What would you pick as your Superhero name and what powers would you have?
My name would be Zoom, and I would have super speed and be able to control the weather.

What place would you like to visit in the next year?
New York City or Florida/Disney World. I also really want to go to Italy to see the Colosseum and to Leaning Tower of Pisa and to eat so much pizza, pasta and gelato.

What bands do you currently love?  
Imagine Dragons, Marshamello, Bastille, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Arctic Monkeys.

What is something you are really good at?
Math, reading, card games, building LEGO, I'm fast, and I'm good at sports. 

What is something you want to learn about or become better at this coming year?
I want to learn about using the testing tubes in math (Montessori), how to do a flip on the trampoline, and I want to get better at drawing 3-D things. 

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Jackson. I love that name.

What TV show are you really into?
The Flash.

What is your favourite sport?
California Kickball or Dodge ball.

What makes you happy? 
The song 'Happier', my family and friends, finishing a good book, making an awesome drawing, the first bite of a beignets. 






Wednesday, February 20, 2019

A ZERO-WASTE CHALLENGE

the zero waste movement is definitely having it's moment in the spotlight - the masses have waged war on plastic straws, single-use plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, and bottled water.

'plastic' is slowly becoming an evil word- and perhaps rightfully so.

over the years, i have found my whole-hearted commitment to environmental crusades has ebbed and flowed from time to time. i've struggled with the knowledge that industry is at the top of the environmentally destructive food chain. industrial farming, emissions from manufacturing, and the damage from fossil fuel extraction all being big pieces of the complex pie. it can feel disheartening, even trivial, to try and make any meaningful dent in the catastrophes currently taking place. my voice is only so loud, the impact of our personal decisions only stretches so far.

so why bother?

one of the things that has resonated very strongly with me lately is this: the best thing we can do for the world, especially when feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed with the sadness and despair happening all around us, is to commit to small acts with great love in our own community. family, friends, neighbours- making small changes in our own backyard ripples outward to all the bigger things we can't control.

and perhaps that sounds fundamentally flawed or silly in the grand scheme of endless sorrows taking place, but those ripples- especially when linked arm in arm with other ripple-makers- slowly become waves. our small voice echos and amplifies when we take a firm stand, change our behavior, vote with our dollars, write to politicians, share ideas and information, give back to our community, and focus on radical acts with unconditional love. we hold the power to change the world, we just continually give that power away.


last month, i wrote a guest blog post for my friend indi and her professional organizing business, room to breathe. whenever i write for her, it never feels like work - words flow with ease and i find myself being gently reminded of our priorities in this lifetime - a commitment to minimalism, living small, conscious consumption, valuing experiences over stuff, and using my voice to share these ideas. i am grateful to indi for always allowing me to write and share from a place of heart - for seeing the value in amplifying important, change-making ideas and giving our collective voice a larger platform and wider audience than the one i have on my own.

this most recent blog post is a zero-waste challenge - a few ideas for habit changes to start those outward ripples. meeting you wherever you are at, and hoping you will link arm in arm with us, joining the good fight.

have a peek if you are so inclined and feel free to share some of your waste reduction ideas in the comments - i'd love to hear from you.