I reread “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” by T.S. Eliot recently. The poem that spoke to me as a creative, curious sixteen year old pondering aging held new meaning to me as an adult celebrating a birthday two decades and change later.
As an adult, the imagery comes alive. And as shy, complicated Prufrock wrestles with this introspective monologue, I realized there’s so much more to this poem than the delicate concerns of aging and watching time pass. It’s amazing when writing speaks to you in different ways at different points in your life. “A Psalm of Life,” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow has been like that for me too.
Perhaps that’s a true sign of impactful writing. A book like “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” by Dr. Seuss isn’t just a sweet story to read to young children. It holds deep and important meaning to those graduating from high school and college — an ode to commencement as a beginning of sorts. “The Tale of You: Hopping into Life,” by Beatrix Potter is like that too.
What books, poems or other pieces of writing have been like that for you?
While I am dwelling in introspection, what is it about a birthday that makes you take a close look at where you are in life? Or perhaps that’s just me. But something about the time, the day, the season has me dwelling in a complicated place between something reminiscent of nesting and dreaming bigger dreams. I am leafing through home magazines and contemplating the style I want my next house to have and also evaluating what big dream to chase next. It’s a curious place to be.
But let’s talk about strawberry rhubarb pie. This is the pie you want to bake in early summer time when both strawberries and rhubarb are ripe and plentiful at farm stands and farmers’ markets.
A flaky crust hides the ruby-toned sweet-tart filling that’s delightful. Fresh strawberries and rhubarb mingle with sugar, vanilla, butter and more to create something delicate and lively. It’s a combination I adore.
I have to confess though: I only tried the combination of strawberry and rhubarb for the first time a few years ago when someone shared a piece of pie with me. I was instantly smitten with the combination and have used it in different dishes again and again since. How did I miss out on this for so long?
This recipe is pretty quick and easy to whip up — chop, mix, pour, bake. Easy enough to make while waiting for dinner to finish cooking (though it needs to cool completely before eating), and simple enough to make it a fun cooking project with kids.
This pie is nothing short of delightful. May your days be delightful too.
- 2 cups sliced rhubarb
- 2 cups sliced strawberries
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp butter, cut into pieces
- 1 tbsp milk
- Pie crust for a bottom and top crust (homemade or store bought)
- Preheat the oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract and salt.
- Arrange a bottom crust in a pie plate. Pour the prepared rhubarb-strawberry mixture into it, spreading into an even later. Dot the top with butter.
- Spread the top crust onto the pie, taking care to press the top and bottom crusts together while you fold and crimp it. Use a knife to cut four slits in the top (I recommend a t-shape!). Brush the top crust of the pie with milk, discarding any unused milk.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for 45-55 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing and serving.
- Great with whipped cream.