Category Archives: Food

Food items

A BREAKFAST TO STOP THE COLD IN ITS TRACKS

Maple Breakfast Sausage

I seldom eat sausage. No store-bought breakfast sausage or restaurant sausage ever tastes right to me, too fatty or off flavors. I’m always dreaming of breakfast sausage I had in a Wisconsin restaurant near LaCrosse one early morning on my way to Minnesota many years ago with my son, who was maybe 15 at the time. When our breakfast arrived and I began eating my sausage, I remember I said to him. “This is real country sausage, so good.” The Detroit kid was unimpressed. He liked Bob Evans or Jimmy Dean or whatever, and mostly he liked the Italian sausage we purchased at a good meat market.

This is part of the explanation for why I was taken with an article in the New York Times Magazine last week titled “The Pleasures of a Pork Patty” by Samin Nosrat. The use of the term pork patty also reminded me of a Fourth of July Pork Burger in Reinbeck, Iowa at the Methodist Church that was to die for, as we like to say. I stared at the picture, I dreamed of that Wisconsin sausage and the Iowa pork burgers.

Okay, enough. On to the recipe.

Maple Breakfast Sausage
(the ingredients I used – roughly half of the recipe printed in the magazine. More variations at nytimes.com/magazine)
this amount makes four patties

½ dried sage
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small pinch nutmeg
1 small pinch ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ pound ground pork
½ tablespoon maple syrup and a little more
Extra virgin olive oil

Combine the spices in a bowl, add pork and syrup.

Use your hands to mix thoroughly for 1 full minute until the pork is tacky, sticky in the palm of your hands.

The recipe suggested a cast iron pan. I have a small one. It was too small. Just use a heavy pan of the size for your needs and heat the olive oil until it shimmers. I used a ¼ cup to make my patties, flat and one the small side. Choose a pan that will not crowd the elements of the breakfast you are cooking.

The author suggested you make one small patty first to check for seasoning. I ate my one patty. Then I added more seasoning (the extra in a small bowl from the measuring) and formed and froze the remaining patties. In other words, my patty was delicious but I thought a bit more seasoning would make it even better.

I followed the suggestion that I cook my sausage, egg and bread in one pan. The author talked of how the bread soaked up the pork juices and so good. Well my pork was quite lean and little fat or juices to soak in the bread.

I went back to the article and read the suggestion you talk to your butcher and ask how much fat they add to ground pork. She suggested 20 to 25 percent. I bought my ground pork at a good market, but I did not ask about the fat content. I didn’t want it too fatty but a smidge more would have been perfection for cooking. For eating I was most happy with the sausage patty I had for my breakfast.

Your sausages may need draining on a paper towel. When I put mine on a paper towel, no fat. Good for me but as I said nothing to flavor the bread.

I cooked the sausage patty, an egg and a half slice of bread in the skillet at the same time.

I loved this sausage. My tummy feels fine. It was a satisfying breakfast. Just as good as my memories of Wisconsin, so I guess with this recipe there is good Michigan sausage. (To clarify MI is home to all sorts of delicious flavored sausages or sausages made with multiple ingredients such as spinach and feta. Here I’m yearning for country pork sausage.)

That touch of maple syrup may well be the secret. Maybe it was the sausage and slightly runny egg eaten together with a small piece of the hot bread in one bite. Oh my! Give this a try!

TRYING OUT A NEW RECIPE: BRAISED CHICKEN WITH APRICOTS, LEMON AND SAFFRON


TRYING OUT A NEW RECIPE: BRAISED CHICKEN WITH APRICOTS, LEMON AND SAFFRON

It’s time for something new. I saw this recipe in the City Kitchen by David Tanis column in the New York Times food section a few weeks ago. With all the roasting and grilling, I haven’t cooked chicken this way for many moons, or so it seems anyway. The recipe also provided the opportunity to try some different flavors and spices.

The verdict is beautiful color and terrific taste. What I really loved was the soft texture of the chicken, while still so full of flavor.

I made half a recipe. Here’s the prep and the ingredients I used. The recipe and more ideas are printed below.

I generously seasoned the chicken on both sides with kosher salt and pepper and let it sit an hour at room temperature before cooking. (I get such a kick that this is now called dry rub by some, even though cooks have done this since the beginning of time.)

4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs went into a frying pan with a turn-in-the-pan of olive oil. I cooked these, skin-side down, for about 15 minutes over medium heat until well browned with crispy skin that lifted easily from the pan. Turn the thighs and cook two or three minutes more.

In a small cup I combined saffron with lemon juice and ¼ cup of water and set this aside.

The browned chicken went into a baking dish.

I poured off most of the fat and cooked the onions in about 2 tablespoons of fat, stirring some until softened and just beginning to brown. I used less onions than called for even for half a recipe, but enough for added flavor.

To the onions in the pan add the saffron water along with the threads, easy on the tomato puree, cayenne, coriander, fennel, cardamon pods and then added the wine. This mixture needs to simmer for a minute or two. Since these spices are mostly new to me, I used slightly less than half of what the recipe called for.

I poured this mixture, which is the most lovely and enticing color over the chicken. Then I tucked in apricots and lemon slices among or atop the chicken pieces. (When I opened the package of dried apricots I had on hand, they were black, so I used canned apricots, not as good I’m sure but pretty and flavorful.)

Cover the pan tightly and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Uncover and bake 10 minutes more.

The aromas were unfamiliar to me, but not at all unpleasant. The color unbelievably gorgeous! Oh, I said that before, didn’t I?

I planned to serve this chicken with a chiffonade of argula and did not trouble with the pine nuts, although I think they would be wonderful.

On the plate with arugula and rice. Yum!

The chicken was equally delicious the second day served with packaged herb chicken rice and other grains.

In the printed recipe below you can see other garnishes that are suggested.

Chicken with Apricots, Lemon and Saffron

6 large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 large onion, diced
½ cup tomato puree
pinch of cayenne
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon green cardamom pods
1 cup white wine
6 ouches dried apricots
2 small lemons, thinly sliced
cilantro leaves and mint leaves for garnish
2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts to finish.

There are so many ways to make this recipe your own: more tomato, thyme, mushrooms. Anyway you prepare it, this is a dish with complex flavors. And the prep is fast and easy!

You may wish to serve it with rice, orzo, or couscous.

This is a recipe I expect to save and prepare again. I know I wouldn’t need to mention it, but….even one bite of the skin on this chicken was heavenly. It’s possible that this recipe has turned this non-fan of chicken into a person that likes chicken again.

NOT JUST MY OPINION – GREAT PRODUCTS

Several lists I’ve read recently in the food magazines lined up with my personal favorites. Here’s an invitation to try these and to tell us your favorite in the same category.

Best Block Cheese
Cabot Alpine Cheddar (most Cabot cheddars for that matter)
A Swiss and Alpine blend in the Legacy Collection of Cabot Cheeses


Best Chocolate Snack
Bark Thins Snacking Chocolate
I like them all. Do you have a favorite? Pictured is the Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt.


Best Pickles
Claussen Kosher Dill Spears
I know this category is up-for-grabs. Tell us your favorite.


Best Catsup
Centro Balsamic Catsup
I like this product so much it’s changed my life. A little goes a long way, but sometimes.. I can’t help drowning my food in it! If you haven’t tried it, I insist!


Chicken Broth
Swanson’s Chicken Stock
I buy different brands, the display, the special price. But somehow when the dish is made with Swanson’s, it always surprises me with it’s good taste.


Best Butter
Land of Lakes
This is always in my fridge. I love butter. I’ve tried many different brands. Salted or Unsalted, either tastes wonderful. I think this product is the best value and the best flavor.

Best products make for best eating experiences! Well, that’s my motto anyway.

NASHVILLE HOT CHICKEN

Our crazy fun college friends group hit Nashville with pot-loads of talk and aspirations. One of these was to manage a meal at Hattie B’s Hot Chicken. So one afternoon we swooped in – that is we paid a hefty parking fee after walking three blocks to find the pay machine, stood in a long line in the heat – and one driver coped with a dead battery – so I guess that wasn’t swooping was it?

We landed in a nice corner table for six. I stared at my chicken tender encased in an armour of something, picked up my plastic knife and fork, and tried to figure out how a person going through a long period of implant surgery on two sides of my mouth might be able to extract and eat a few bites of this famous chicken. I had a side of tempting pimento mac and cheese to keep me at the task.

Around the table my friends had dark lacquered hot chicken of various shapes and heat levels. We were all hungry and all that talk ceased, almost. The armour on most of the chicken put my tenders to shame. I glanced around the table to see which knight might win the joust. Forgetting completely about taking pictures, I mostly concentrated on the task at hand.

What is Nashville Hot Chicken? Why are tourists and locals jamming a modest, not too clean rundown eatery like Hattie’s?

According to Jane and Michael Stern’s essay from Saveur title “Hot County” and reprinted in Best Food Writing 2015 Nashville’s famous hot chicken depends on cayenne and other spices. It’s a pepper red chunk of fried chicken served on white bread with dill pickle chips. You tear apart the chicken and gnaw. Clearly, I did not have the right technique. My friends caught on fast.

Recipes are carefully guarded, or so they say, but the Sterns describe a brine of buttermilk and spices, dredged in flour with more spice and double-fried. Then, fresh out of the hot oil, the chicken is slathered with a buttery paste of lard. Inside the shell one should find “sweetness, juiciness and an umami richness.” By the time we stumbled down the ramp and headed toward our two cars (one with a new battery – thank you Triple A and Lana) we were chock full of chicken and other stuff like greens and mustard sauce. And the line now stretched way down the block.

I did not think the chicken I was trying to eat had ever been bathed in buttermilk brine. Sure enough when I got home and turned to that fountain of information – the internet – and found two recipes for Hattie B’s Hot Chicken courtesy of Lee Brian Schrager and Adeena Sussman at Food Network Magazine and one from Aida Mollenkamp editor of Salt and Wind, Hattie’s chicken is dry brined. Chicken pieces are tossed with salt and pepper, covered and refrigerated overnight or up to 24 hours. Then on with the dipping, the frying (hot sauce and spices) and then the spicy coating: lard, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, salt pepper, paprika, garlic powder. You see the dark red brown that is the result in these pictures from the internet. My tenders described as Southern Chicken were lighter, but most of the chicken around the table was very dark brown.

I guess now-a-days you can order and eat spicy hot chicken around the country. But it is still one of Nashville’s prime attractions. Before too long I’m expecting to be on my way to a place that serves chicken tenders, brined in buttermilk, and so tender even a tooth-challenged person can eat and enjoy. A place where the cutting is easy. I can always ask for more hot sauce.

Hot chicken lovers go right ahead and salivate waiting for you next chance to eat this distinctive treat. Before I visited Nashville, I’d never seen any chicken like it. When you get the chance, grab the greens and gnaw away.

HOW CAN MY CHOWDER GO SO WRONG?

From the Farmer’s Market I brought home fresh corn on the cob, new potatoes and other
good things. I was dreaming of corn clam chowder.

I read my cookbooks. I dreamed of corn clam chowder.

Jeff and I stopped at the store with a list. I dreamed of corn clam chowder.

I’ve made clam chowder before. Below is a recipe from 2014, one I often make that is much like Barefoot Contessa’s East Hampton Clam Chowder. I like that one because it has carrots, though my friends from the East Coast tell me it is not authentic. Never mind. It’s always good and I like it.

My recipe is printed at the end of this lament.

You can guess what is coming. It’s not much of a mystery.

This time I wanted bacon and corn. Perhaps I might have used a recipe from Everything Tastes Better with Bacon, a favorite cookbook of mine.

But I decided to try a recipe from Sarah Leah Chase’s New England Open House Cookbook for Corn and Clam Chowder. It seemed similar to the one in the bacon cookbook.

There are many reasons why my cooking game was a bit off today. I simply don’t know what made the difference. I was perhaps not as focused or energetic as makes for a good cooking outcome.

I didn’t have fresh thyme. I bought half and half when I knew I needed to buy heavy cream, but then again, for myself I don’t mind if the soup is a bit thinner.

The corn was superb, I ate two forkfuls.

I did not peel the potatoes and when I tasted the soup, I wished I had. I don’t believe I ever peeled small new potatoes.

I thought I had several cans of chopped clams, but alas only one in the back of the pantry shelf, and not a particularly good brand. And I broke my cardinal rule to rinse the canned clams before adding to the chowder.

Yes I have chives, paprika as garnish. But oh well, as Emeril says, when you really cook, stuff happens.

I’ll say this. It was not “surpassingly excellent” as Sara Leah Chase pronounces and as I had hoped.

Perhaps sitting awhile in the refrigerator will help? What does one do with a pot of soup that is less than expected?

Thank goodness I made only half a recipe.

I am certain it was the cook and not the New England Open-House Cookbook recipe, so I will include the ingredients so you can try it.

At any rate, I am no longer dreaming of corn clam chowder with bacon. I’m cured, for a while at least.

Corn and Clam Chowder
From New England Open House Cookbook

4 ounces best-quality slab or thickly sliced applewood-smoked bacon, cut into 1/3 inch dice
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium-size onion, peeled, and cut into ¼ inch dice
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into ¼ inch dice
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups fish, clam or vegetable broth
1 pound all-purpose potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice.
4 ears fresh local corn, cut from the cobs
1 pint fresh chopped clams with their juices
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
fresh chives for garnish

MADE-IN-FLORIDA CLAM CHOWDER
Paulette Lein

You don’t have to be in Florida to make this yummy soup. This recipe is similar to Ina Garten’s East Hampton Clam Chowder published in Barefoot Contessa Family Style. This chowder has lots of vegetables and a splash or two or three of half&half to give it a creamy, smooth finish.

4 Tablespoons and 3 Tablespoons butter, divided
1 heaping cup chopped sweet onion
1 generous cup chopped celery
1 generous cup chopped carrots.
4 cups partially peeled, diced redskin potatoes.
Thyme, fresh, dried, or ground to taste. (about ½ teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black Pepper, celery salt to taste
cayenne pepper – be careful, but don’t leave it out. Shake three times?
2 bottles clam juice
1 can chicken broth, use as liquid is needed, or heat in microwave and use in thickening the soup
¼ cup Wondra flour (all purpose is fine)
1 cup milk
2 6 oz. cans chopped clams or three, or two cups fresh chopped clams
half&half, about ½ cup

Melt four Tablespoons of butter and 2 Tablespoons olive oil in large pan and cook onion over medium-low heat about ten minutes until translucent. Add celery, carrots, potatoes, thyme, salt and pepper and sauté for about ten more minutes. Add clam juice and bring to a boil. Cook until vegetables are tender, about twenty minutes.

In a small pot melt three Tablespoons of butter and whisk in the flour. Cook over low heat about three minutes stirring constantly. Whisk in a cup of hot broth from soup or heated chicken broth. Return that mixture to the soup pot and simmer until soup thickens.

Drain clams and add liquid to the soup, simmer. Rinse clams.

Add milk and clams and heat gently for a few minutes to cook clams. Add celery salt and cayenne, more salt and pepper if needed.

Soup may be made ahead and reheated. Add half&half close to serving time and heat gently.

BEAUTY AT THE FARMER’S MARKET

A trip to the Farmer’s Market gives one a new appreciation of vegetables!

The tomatoes were so tempting I wanted to buy bushels, but I settled for a few heirlooms and gave the biggest baddest red to my neighbor.


How colorful can peppers be?

Pickles anyone?


The grower said these were ready to eat today.

I never can resist the multi-colored carrots. I bought fresh corn on the cob and potatoes, hoping to make chowder.

Basket after basket of rosy ready-to-eat peaches.

TOMATO JAM

Will tomato season soon be upon us? Have you been to the Farmer’s Market near you? Did you come home with a beautiful bounty of cherry and heirloom tomatoes? What will you do with your tomatoes?

Enough with the questions!

Today I share two recipes for Tomato Jam and the start of a journey of dreaming and learning.

Tomato Jam
From New York Times Food Section, August 16, byline Alison Roman

4 pounds red or green tomatoes (not heirloom), cored and cut in 1-inch chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Garlic, chiles de arbol (look for dried peppers in an envelope)
Red pepper flakes or thyme (the author adds a note: red pepper flakes or 1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves.

Toss the tomatoes,sugar and salt together and let sit 15 minutes or up to overnight. Toss to coat periodically to dissolve the sugar.

Put a small plate in the refrigerator to chill. (the mystery begins)

In a heavy pan bring tomatoes to a strong simmer over medium heat until the skins bust and juices start to boil, about 10 minutes. Add those optional flavorings.

Cook the jam, using a wooden spoon to stir occasionally. Near the end of this process stir often to prevent sticking. Cook until mix resembles thick shiny tomato sauce: 35-45 minutes.

Here’s where that plate comes into play. When you think jam may be finished, spoon some onto the chilled plate, return to fridge and chill two minutes. Drag finger and jam should hold its shape, not watery or runny. Perhaps it needs to cook a few more minutes?

Discard chilis. Sppon jam into jars leaving ¼ inch head space and seal immediately. Or just put into a clean jar and refrigerate.

You can learn more online “Make Summer Last” at nytcooking.com

Black Bandywine Tomatoe Jam
from the Heirloom Tomato Cookbook by Mimi Lueggermann

5 pounds black brandywine tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoons light olive oil
½ cup dry red wine
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons saba vinegar or aged balsamic vinegar
½ stick cinnamon
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate

pinch of sea salt.

Brush cut sides of tomatoes with olive oil. Roast in a 400 degree oven, cut side own on a baking sheet until charred and soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Puree tomatoes and juice.

Cook in heavy nonreactive saucepan and combine with other ingredients except chocolate and salt. Bring to boil and simmer stirring constantly until tomatoes are jamlike, about 1 ½ hours. Remove cinnamon stick.

Add chocolate and salt and stir until chocolate melts.

Remove from heat and cool.

Spread on toasted walnut bread and top with a slice of blue cheese.

Oh my! All that stirring! That’s a lot of expensive heirloom Black Brandywines.


American Spoon Farmhouse Tomato Relish.

You can purchase this sweet and savory item in a jar. American Spoon also sells Brandywine Tomato Preserves.

Mrs. Miller brand makes Tomato Jam. Maybe Stonewall Kitchens, but I couldn’t find it.

The magazine Fine Cooking suggest 12 ways to use Tomato Jam. Here are a few: Slather on – Grilled Cheese, Lentil Soup, With eggs and Bacon, On a BLT

Or toss with avocado
Or whisk into vinegriette
Or spread on brushetta with cream cheese.

But really if you love this savory sweet treat, you will think of million ways to use it.

IF YOU MAKE TOMATO JAM, GIVE WE BEGINNERS A FEW TIPS.

CLOSING OUT RHUBARB SEASON: JOSEPHINE’S RHUBARB CREAM PIE

I knew this was an old favorite and also a baking challenge for me. But, I still had some rhubarb to use, so……

I had an antique recipe passed down by my Mom. She had written “good” on the card. I had not made it before, or at least not for many years.

Pie is not my long suit. I had a refrigerated crust still to be used. I dived into the prep. Would I make meringue? Questions lurked. I mostly hoped for a good outcome. Cooking involves much hoping as far as I’m concerned.

Josephine’s Rhubarb Cream Pie

2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon melted butter
1 and ½ cups of cut rhubarb
Meringue
Orange zest – optional

Beat the egg yolks and add sugar, mix with flour and melted butter. Stir until smooth. (For me this mixture was very thick.)

Line a pie plate with pastry and arrange the cut rhubarb in it. I sprinkled the rhubarb with the orange zest since I have become convinced that it enhances the rhubarb.

Pour the sugar mixture over the rhubarb. (Mine did not pour. I tried to spread the blobs, wondering: Would this really all cook together in the oven?)

Place in a hot oven at 400 for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for 25 more minutes.

Cover with a meringue made from 2 egg whites.

Return to oven and bake slowly at 325.

With two egg whites staring me in the face, I decided to try the meringue. I got some help from the internet adding the suggested cream of tarter, vanilla, sugar, and following suggested whipping instructions.

I sprinkled orange zest over the meringue.

Here’s the verdict!

The pie is not as beautiful as I wish. My fluting of the crust did not go too well, part fell over, part not high enough, forgot to brush with cream, although I can’t complain about the browning.

But the taste of this pie is superb! Super delicious. The best!!!. The texture of the filling lovely. The meringue, passable. I might have more carefully pushed the meringue against the edges of the crust. I might have whipped it a few seconds longer, but all in all I was pretty lucky.

Still with all its faults, my favorite dessert of rhubarb season. One of the most delicious pies I have ever eaten. And I love pie. My mother made the best pie ever. I have eaten my way across Iowa and Western Illinois with Jerry stopping at Mom and Pop Diners to sample pieces of pie. My siblings make lovely pies. I’ve eaten more pie than I care to admit.

This was the best ever!!!

If you like Rhubarb Cream Pie, you are crazy if you do not copy or print this recipe. I posted on the home page to make that easier for you blog readers. This is a gift, I promise you.

RASPBERRY RHUBARB CROSTATA

Because I’m so in love with raspberries, I decided my first rhubarb recipe to take into the kitchen would be Ina Garten’s Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata. I couldn’t resist the red color. And I knew that more practice with finalizing an even crust is definitely what I need. This recipe appears in her cookbook, Cooking For Jeffrey.

I am listening to the suggestions you blog readers gave me on Facebook and on the blog. But first, this brilliant red pastry, like a rustic pie. ( I used refrigerated store-bought pastry – a worthy shortcut for those of us not fond of making pie crust.) This goes together more quickly than pie and can be more forgiving.

The aroma that filled my kitchen was truly amazing. The tart and tang with every bite of this is just what the cook was hoping for. My tongue loved it. Ina Garten says her guests go berserk. High praise. I know my neighbors loved it. You will too.

Filling for Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata

¼ cup cornstarch
4 cups sliced fresh rhubarb
6 ounces fresh raspberries
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon water, for egg wash
Turbinado sugar for the crust.

( I did not have freshly squeezed orange juice and used the dairy counter variety.)

Place 3 Tablespoons of water in a small bowl and whisk in the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a heavy saucepan combine the sliced rhubarb and berries along with sugar, orange zest and orange juice. Cook over medium heat for five or six minutes until some of the juices are released.

Stir in the cornstarch and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for two minutes, at least.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes until cool.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll pastry to 11-12 inch circle on lightly floured surface and transfer to the prepared pan.

Pile the raspberry rhubarb mixture onto the pastry. Leave a 1 and 11/2 inch border

.

Fold border over the filling, pleating and pressing lightly. Try to keep even for better appearance. (You can see I need more practice in this department.)

Brush pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, just the pastry.

Bake for 35 minutes until pastry is browned and filling bubbly and thickened.

Cool for 30 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. Top with ice cream or whipped cream or not as you wish. I sometimes use plain yogurt. Or nothing at all.


Now back to the kitchen. There is more rhubarb! What next?!

RHUBARB SEASON

The color of rhubarb calls to mind all sorts of images. The patch of stalks growing in a garden patch behind the house you grew up in, or a red color nothing else duplicates, or a tart and tangy flavor you can’t ever get enough of? Rhubarb is different things to different people. Maybe you only discovered how much you like it in the last year or two, or just last month. For many it is a harbinger of spring and early summer. From New England to Minnesota, people are dreaming of Rhubarb. Many like it best when it is paired with berries of one kind or another.

Lucky me. My neighbor just gave me almost three beautiful pounds of this stuff, crisp stalks ready to be cut into bite-size pieces. She visited her cousins a few days ago and came home with a nice supply of fresh rhubarb.

Now – what shall I bake or stew? What would you create if someone left 3 pounds of rhubarb on your doorstep, or you got carried away at the Farmer’s Market and bought a sackful?

The choices seem endless. I’ve consulted Ina Garten, family recipes, Amy Thielen, and the New England Open House cookbook to name some, along with a couple of blogs. What will I choose?

Strawberry Rhubarb Crunch
Strawberry Rhubarb Compote with Greek Yogurt
Rhubarb Baked in Raspberry Syrup
Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp
Rhubarb Pudding Cake
Raspberry Rhubarb Crostata
Rhubarb Pie
Rhubarb Cream Pie
Rhubarb Sauce
Rhubarb Upside-down Cake

How will I ever decide?

I posted this on the home page so you can easily comment and tell us what you vote for. What do you think I should do with all this lovely rhubarb?