Posted on | May 11, 2009 | 91 Comments
Yesterday was my 42nd birthday–the first birthday in years where I didn’t feel any anticipation about the day or pressure to somehow celebrate. No party plans, just a relaxed dinner at home. I eased into the day with warm wishes from my family, deep snuggles from Lila, soft kisses on the back of my neck from Chris, a long hug and homemade breakfast from Tyler. Phone calls and gifts waiting in a small pile from family back east. Roses from my gang, deep and stunning in the pot my brother gave me. Neighbors stopped by with sweet cards full of sparkly wishes, honeysuckle hand lotion, cheers.
I pulled weeds and transplanted broccoli and lettuce starts, seeded some more greens, watered the transplants. The day flowed and the intermittent sun warmed my back and I didn’t have to fight to stay with the feeling of my feet on the land.
I planned a dinner of fish tacos, Spanish rice, spinach and arugula salad (from the garden!) with blue cheese, sauteed broccoli raab with green garlic. Chris snapped this shot of me with my first bouquet of broccoli raab and I wish I could also share the fragrant, sharp and sweet mustardy air that surrounded me.
The rhubarb ignited my dessert passions with just enough ruby stalks to bake a cobbler. I had starred Deb at Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for rhubarb cobbler earlier in the week, but knew I wouldn’t have quite enough mature rhubarb, so also picked up some decent looking strawberries (from CA, I know, sigh).
This is seriously the most scrumptious cobbler I have ever eaten. I made a few adjustments as follows:
• Half rhubarb, half strawberries due to low yield in the rhubarb patch.
• Recipe calls for 2 hard boiled egg yolks in the dough, but I didn’t read the recipe all the way through until I started to make it, so I just added 2 raw egg yolks…two bright orange egg yolks. I don’t think I’ll bother trying it with the hard-boiled eggs, even if I’m wrong in thinking it will make the biscuit dough sandy. I love the texture just the way I made it.
• Calls for 6 T unsalted butter, but I just threw in the whole stick because really, what’s two extra tablespoons of butter in a birthday dessert? Heaven, that’s what.
• Again, because I hadn’t read the recipe in advance, I didn’t buy enough whipping cream for the dough and for whipped topping, so I used half and half in the biscuit dough.
• I didn’t have the Turbinado sugar for the topping, so used the Demerara I had for a cookie recipe a while back, and that made a wonderful light crust on top of the biscuit dough.
• Used homemade whipped cream with honey instead of ice cream on top.
OK, so my sister and I were talking last week about rhubarb cobbler and cornstarch and how gross and milky it makes the sauce, but I couldn’t remember what she said she did instead of the cornstarch, so I tossed it in. I really don’t like the look of it, and wish for a sauce that’s bright and clear and better complements the gem-like fruit inside. But believe me, I got over it. This is by far the most incredible cobbler I have ever eaten and I can’t wait to try the biscuit dough with other fruits as they come into season. Oh, peaches! And sour cherries, too!
The fresh food season has begun and my garden is beginning to fill the table. I don’t even have the words to properly express how happy this makes me. See photo above…the smile says it all.