Saturday, June 09, 2007

Strawberry rhubarb bliss

Just because I've sworn off sugar for the rest of my natural life (or at least until I birth this baby), doesn't mean I can't do my part to send other people into diabetic comas of their own.

Yesterday I baked two pies for Pat, a lady from church whose husband was celebrating his seventieth birthday. A few weeks ago at a service auction night for our Relief Society women's group, she got into several bidding wars when other ladies offered up the service of "baking the pie of your choice". I think she actually only won one of those. After the bidding was over, I asked Pat why the great need for pies, and she told me about the upcoming birthday celebration. Her four children, along with all the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, were gathering from across the country to help their dad celebrate.

So I did what any hare-brained pregnant woman who wanted to help a friend would do: I offered to bake her a couple of pies. Last Monday, Pat called with an offer to pay me if I was still willing to bake for her. Seeing this as the perfect opportunity to start up my cute diaper bag fund, I said, "You bet!" I made her a french apple pie (with a brown sugar crumb topping) and a strawberry rhubarb pie, after calling in my own favor from a friend who had a bumper crop of rhubarb and wanted to get rid of some. I chopped the rhubarb the night before, made the dough in the morning so it could chill, and then spent several hours in the afternoon doing all the peeling and cutting of apples and strawberries, and rolling of crust before assembing the pies. I even went the extra mile and finished off the strawberry rhubarb pie with egg yolk glaze and dusted it with sugar. I had to put my feet up while the pies were in the oven to counteract the effects of all that time standing, and I was so covered with flour that a small, grainy white cloud went up when I plopped down on the couch.

As soon as the pies were done baking, I loaded Jimmy in the car and we delivered them to Pat and her hungry brood, fresh and hot from the oven. They were delicious, according to the family of taste-testers. The strawberry rhubarb pie was a new recipe to me, but I wanted to make it because lately I've been revisiting childhood memories of my grandmother's rhubarb pie. And it turned out so pretty that I just had to snap a couple shots of it to share. But the best part of all? My kitchen no longer smells like burnt sesame, and that makes all the work of toiling over those two pies seem like a pittance to pay for my new aromatherapy of strawberry rhubarb bliss.


lemon square said...

i've heard people say 90% of taste is smell, but i think i would have gone the extra 10% and made a couple of extra pies for my own diabetic coma. it would have been worth it.

chicklegirl said...

Yeah, the only thing stopping me was the wee one. If it was just me, death by home-baked pie... what a way to go!