Rhubarb Cobbler

You are in for a treat if you make Grandma Olson’s Rhubarb Cobbler.  If you love the Rhubarb Slump at Anthony’s, this is better.  I know what you’re thinking.  You think I’m over doing it on the bragging, but I’m not.

I’ve been making this recipe for years and years.  It’s not cobbler like you are expecting.  There are no biscuits on top, no crumbly topping.  This is a layer of flavorful rhubarb topped with a layer of moist cake.  It is not incredibly sweet.  See, here I go again with my minimally sweet desserts.  This is refreshing and tastes of spring.  And the color, wow, the color.

The cake gets crunchy edges, my favorite part.  You are in control of the quantity of the rhubarb.  If you want the ratio of fruit to cake different, you go for it.  The rhubarb does cook down considerably so keep that in mind.  It will not get juicy.  Rhubarb doesn’t have the moisture in it you might be expecting.

According to the Hunka-hunka, this tastes absolutely perfect with a scoop of ice cream on it and he could eat the whole pan, not that I would let him.  Enjoy.

Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch baking dish 2 inches deep with rhubarb, cut into approximately 1 inch slices.  Sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the rhubarb.  Cover with the batter.

Batter:

1 cup sugar

½ cup softened butter

1 egg

¾ cup milk

1 ¾ cups flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream butter and sugar.  Add egg.  Add the milk alternately with the flour and baking powder.  Spread over rhubarb (it’s very thick) and bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

*  From the Recipe Box:

Best rhubarb recipe ever, even better than Anthony’s Slump!  Buttery, cake-like layer on top instead of the typical crispy cobbler topping.

This was Grandma Olson’s recipe.

Yes, I can eat the whole pan.

I don’t care how often you try and tell me it’s a vegetable,  I will always think of it as a fruit.  So there.

I like having a pan ready to go in the freezer when you can’t get rhubarb to save your soul, say for Thanksgiving.  My Hero!

Do not ever, I repeat never ever, put strawberries with the rhubarb.  I will hurt you!

and remember what Ferris Bueller said:  Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.  Big kiss, Lynn

The Tale of 2 Cranberry Relishes

This is a tale of woe as well as a cranberry tale.  I used to own my Grandma Olson’s meat grinder.  When my brother and I were little, it was the outboard motor on the end of my bed or whatever adventure we were playing that day.  It was just the perfect implement for imagination.  Every holiday it became a kitchen tool.  Mom would let us take turns grinding the cranberries.  Cranberries went in the top, juice went out the bottom and ground cranberries came out the front.  This is a close likeness, but not quite.

After owning it for years and years, it was misplaced some where between our old house and our new house.  I’m verklempt.  Nothing works quite as well.  This year, I bought a new food processor thinking that might do the trick, but no.  Since there is no bottom drainage, the relish stays too juicy.  I also like my relish a little coarser and that is so hard to control with a machine.  This is how my grandma and mom made relish:

  • Rinse and sort 1 or 2 bags of fresh cranberries
  • Grind to a pickle relish consistency
  • Grind 1 or 2 oranges depending on size to a matching consistency
  • Grind a tart apple if available, like a Jonathan
  • Combine in a bowl
  • Add sugar to taste

I can’t even see the orange pieces due to the lack of coarseness in my processed relish.  Sigh.  Even this way, it is still so much fresher tasting than canned.  But, not everyone likes cranberries.  I know, WTF!  So for them, let’s address canned sauce.  If you were told to bring cranberry sauce to the party and didn’t want the mess, I have a solution for you.  Open your can of sauce, place it in a bowl, get out your microplaner, wash off an orange, grate the zest of that orange into the sauce and add a squeeze or 2 of orange juice.  You will not believe it’s not fresh.  Magic!  People will ask for your recipe and you will modestly look away and say it’s an old family recipe and you aren’t allowed to share it.  Everyone is happy and you are a hero.

and remember:  Just because today might be a terrible day does not mean tomorrow won’t be the best day of your like.  You just gotta get there.  Big kiss, Lynn

Lefse and the Norwegian love of white food

This is the very first entry of my very first blog.  I’ve been writing in journals forever.  They are a mixture of my daily routine, a monthly news round-up, the excitement of Christmas, trip plans and the occasional recipe.  I decided the recipes needed to be released and the perfect one to start with was lefse.  It brings us together and keeps us family.  I do have a theory about white food and Norwegians.  I think it’s the snow.  We love potatoes, bread, almond paste, pickled herring (well, that’s not true of us all), and on, and on.  Remind me soon and I’ll tell you the story of getting a bowl of rommegrot for my mom when she was sick.  So the recipe for lefse……

Once a year, the cousins get together at Paul and Linda’s house to make lefse.  We aim for the last Saturday of October.  It’s an incredible amount of work made fun by the company, the champagne and the nibbles.  Paul, Linda, Greg and I get together on the Thursday night before to cook and rice the potatoes.  We usually do about 40 pounds.  The potatoes need to be thoroughly cooled before we can proceed.  We start the process at 10 a.m.  Saturday morning.  Everyone brings a bottle of champagne, a nibble and an apron.  We roll until the potatoes are gone, usually making about 12 dozen pieces.  Everyone takes lefse home, but I don’t think anyone enjoys eating it more than Hillary.

Everyone must pass the lefse test before marrying into the family.

Lefse Recipe

6 cups riced potatoes

1 ¼ cups flour

1/3 cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

Place the riced potatoes into a large bowl.  Thoroughly rub the dry ingredients into the potatoes. Add the milk.  Combine.  Place dough on a well-floured pastry cloth and form into a log.  Cut into 16 slices.  Roll out into an approximately 12 to 14 inch circle.  Bake on lefse grill heated to max.  Flip once.  Cool between several layers of towels to allow it to cool as slowly as possible and avoid crisping up.  As it cools, fold in fourths and overlap edges to keep soft.  Freezes well with waxed paper between each slice.

*  From the Recipe Box:

Typically, we boil 30 to 40 pounds of potatoes.  A few years ago I had an epiphany and decided to try baking them to keep them dryer and fluffier.  Eureka!  It worked like a dream.  Millions of Norwegians are rolling in their graves.  We also quit ricing and started using the Kitchen Aid shredder.  Easy squeezy.  As a purist, I prefer the ricer but this gets the job done so fast.  Paul, Linda, Greg and I do potatoes on a Thursday so they are well chilled by Saturday, Lefse Day.

The key to properly made lefse lies in tradition.  You must have lots of Champagne, hors d’ouevres, and your favorite cousins to help.

One year, a friend of Chris’ asked to participate.  We don’t normally allow outsiders, but she was a fun friend.  We told her the rules:  bring Champagne, an apron and an hors d’ouevre and that’s all.  She arrives wearing this beautiful long, red wool coat and we’re all going WTF!  She looks around, asks if there are any guys here and then drops her coat.  All she’s wearing is an apron and she’s holding a bottle of Champagne.  What a hoot!  The amount of Champagne consumed is directly related to the quality of the lefse.  40 pounds of potatoes makes approximately 12 dozen pieces of lefse.

And remember:  From quiet homes and first beginnings out to undiscovered ends, there’s nothing worth the wear of winning but laughter and the love of friends.  Big Kiss, Lynn