It’s going to be a great summer!
Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.
~ Zig Ziglar
Holla friends and readers!
I’m back in action after a tremendous few days. I mentioned in my last post that I might be (just a little) absent here in the blog world while I tackle a fairly big project.
I am happy to report it was (for me anyway) as successful as I ever could have hoped, and it is great to be back here – I am looking forward to catching up with you all!
On Saturday, Not So Fast hosted its first ever faster sponsored cooking class for youth.
You may have read here, about Not So Fast and the food support we offer through ‘living with less’. If you are new to IPOM, I would be honored to introduce you to Not So Fast here.
As a result of Chris & Carla’s amazing effort and contribution to our cause, we gathered with 10 enthusiastic youth to cook a nutritious meal together (yup it included lentils & barley!).
We not only cooked food for the kids to take home, but we also cooked enough food for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to feed 40 people!
It was a giant challenge (I love a giant challenge), and with the help of some super amazing people, we prepared a (rather tasty) menu that embodied the simple philosophy of the recipes found here at IPOM.
It was nothing short of amazing.
Today I’ll share with you the fantastic dessert we prepared for the evening. This is a classic summer dessert in every sense of the word. Stay tuned for more from the weekend, but for now, let’s talk (just a little) summer dessert!
Love is the absence of judgment.
~ Dalai Lama
First, the rhubarb.
This locally abundant (here in BC) spring & summer treat has earlier been featured in these yummy dessert bars, but there is nothing as classic as pairing them with another classic.
Strawberries. Local strawberries. The truest sign of summer if there ever was one.
Local strawberries flood me with memories of garden patches covered in green mesh to keep the birds out. Fortunately little hands (mine) were always wily enough to push around the mesh to find the little red gems under the white blossomed strawberry plants (don’t tell).
This recipe is not for those who are shy in front of sugar (or butter or flour), but I am quite confident my vegan and gluten-free readers have more than an ample supply of tricks up their sleeves to make this combo shine with any sub or clever replacement.
After all, everyone should enjoy this classic combo, right?
Less ingredients in baked treats make quick work for the chef. Less store-bought summer pastries means more goodness for far less cost. Less heavy, crumbly topping means more flavor for less portion size, so enjoyment needn’t come at a heavy cost.
More real, straight up ingredients means simple purity in taste and method. More fresh local summer fruits means more of the classic tastes like we remember. More flavor, sweetness, and balance, means your guests will go for seconds, so making this for a gathering means you’re guaranteed to be a star.
Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp:
~ Adapted from Canadian Living
- (3) cups chopped fresh strawberries
- (3) cups chopped fresh rhubarb stalks
- (3/4) cup granulated sugar (you can also use brown, feel free to reduce to 1/2 cup if you prefer)
- (2) tbsp white or whole wheat flour
- (1) cup white or whole wheat flour
- (1/2) cup slow oats
- (3/4) cup brown sugar
- (1/3) cup cold butter, cut into pieces
- pinch each cinnamon and salt
Start by buying the freshest fruits you can. Rhubarb can be bought several days ahead for this, but fresh strawberries are the best, especially if they are locally grown.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash your fruits and cut them into (somewhat) uniform sizes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour and mix all with your hands gently.
In a separate bowl, toss together the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon and salt. Add the cold butter and cut the mixture with a pastry cutter, or your hands (like yours truly does).
Grease well an 8 inch square pan. Spread the fruit mixture evenly to cover the bottom, then top with the crumble topping and press together lightly to ensure it is even.
Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until the topping is fragrant and golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving. Serve as is, with tart plain thick yoghurt, or vanilla ice cream.
Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.
~ Norman Vincent Peale
My heart is full lately. It’s full of the promise that summer might just come. It’s full of the warmth of the community I am proud to be a part of.
It’s full knowing that the classics never go out of style, and easy comforting summer memories are easily at hand with just a few simple steps.
Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.
– Robert Louis Stevenson
It’s safe to say this was a giant hit at the dinner. The kids didn’t cook this one, but the volunteers who make it all happen all year-long sure enjoyed it.
I’ll share the simple menu we prepared together in an upcoming post, after I catch my breath and finish the last few bites of this delicious crumble 🙂
Yes, my heart is full. Full with gratitude for all who took part and contributed their time and talents to pulling this together. You know who you all are!
Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
~ Dalai Lama
Enjoy this delicious version of a summer classic. As the days are now (hopefully) as long as our smiles, the time is now to revel in the goodness of fresh local foods.
I am looking forward to catching up with you all, I hope you are all fabulous!
- What is your favorite summer fruit dessert?
- Are you reveling in the glory of local berries?
Do tell as I am sure there are more than a few berry lovers out there!
My humblest thanks for reading (as always) – stay tuned for more from this weekend, and here’s to the official start of the summer season!
Yours in Less,