The Dumpling Diary

Dis cooking so you cooking too.

Back on the Farm September 24, 2010

Filed under: Desserts — Meg @ 12:01 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Okay! So! The other day, Jon’s mom called us up and asked if we’d like to come join her on a grape-pickin’ excursion to a family friend’s family farm (how’s that for an alliteration?). This used to be somewhat of an annual trip, from what I understand, and Kim (Jon’s mom) uses the grapes to make homemade grape juice. Let me tell you, the grapes were so sweet, I don’t think we’ll have to use any sugar when we make it this year! The whole experience was amazing, despite my undying bakery’d-out lethargic nature. We ended up coming home with a gigantic tub/crate/what-have-you of beautiful blue grapes, tons of rhubarb, some wild cucumbers that Jon plans to use for naturalist acts of terrorism (read: creating an overgrowth in the area on the river that was recently hacked to pieces/cut down), as well as the BEST summer sausage any of us have ever tasted. That’s just my opening. Now we’ll get into the meat of things, but I’ll start you off with a recipe. I made this about an hour and a half ago. It’s heartbreakingly good. Even if it’s not quite rhubarb season anymore.
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Rhubarb Crisp
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I made this using my mom’s recipe for apple crisp, a recipe that never, EVER fails, is basically a one-bowl operation, quick, and always extremely satisfying. I had to tweak it a little, due to the sourness of the rhubarb, but it turned out heavenly. I’ve always liked eating it still hot with a splash of cream.
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Ingredients
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4 cups fresh rhubarb (you could use frozen), cut into 1.5″ pieces
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
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1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup oats (I don’t trust any crisp recipe without oats)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
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Method
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Mix rhubarb in a large bowl with 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/3 cup flour, until it is coated. Place in a 9×9″ pan (or a round pie dish is okay, go for the deep-dish variety though), and spread evenly, sprinkling any leftover flour/brown sugar mix over. In the same bowl, now emptied, add remaining ingredients. Now, the fun part. Welcome back to my childhood. Get your hands in there and get crumblin’. Mix the dry parts together, then sort of crumble the butter between your fingers and into the flour mix. It will look like streusel-y. Now, once there is hardly any powdery flour mix, and all of the butter is mixed in, but not wet, sprinkle over the top of your rhubarb in the pan. This is important: Do not pat it down. Just let it do it’s thang. I once verbally assaulted my brother and screamed at him violently for doing such a thing to an apple crisp I made when I was 14 or so, at Thanksgiving. Good times.
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Oh, bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
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Now, let’s have some fun with pictures.
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The farm we were at is a cattle farm, so, of course, there were cows.
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Just an old tractor covered in wild cucumbers. No biggie.
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The culprits!
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Our near-final yield of grapes!
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Giant lubob and grapes!
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Self-explanatory.
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Jon was happy with this particular cluster of grapes.
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Kim is a seasoned grape-picking veteran.
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The fucking BESSSSST cured meat I’ve ever tasted. The profanity is entirely necessary here. Oh god. Our friend who owns the farm, after he slaughters and butchers the beef, he sends some off to a wonderful mennonite man who cures the meat all-naturally, and the final product is this.
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I will probably die of a stroke very soon, due to my heavy consumption of this, and the salt content. Oh well. After I first tried it, Wayne (Wiener!) looked at my face and said, “You like it? …LOOK AT HER EYES!!!”  The first taste was one of the most joyous moments in my life.
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Other than the photos shown here (there are more), it was all in all a terrific time at the farm. By the way, our friend’s name is Wayne, but everyone calls him Wiener/Wayner. Heh. He was a wonderful host. He showed us how to fish for bass in under 30 seconds in his pond, a large selection of barn cats and kittens (dozens! DOZENS! It was great), let us sample the delicious meat, which we ended up buying, annnnnnnnd…  Sometime before Christmas, he’s having Jon and I over to help slaughter/skin/butcher one of the cows. I am unnaturally eager about this. Mostly the butchering part. Jon’s looking to hone his bûcherie and charcuterie skillz even more, so this should be a very fruitful (and meatful) experience.
Regarding the haul we brought back home, well, I already made the rhubarb crisp, but I think I’ll be trying my hand at rhubarb jam (I love canning, oh god), and after we pick and squeeze the grapes at Jon’s parents’ house, we’ll be making juice, and maybe some wine and jelly! Should make for good product, the grapes were so sweet, I couldn’t stop pecking at them. Also, my boss, Vickie, brought in some apples from the family farm (I think?) out in Vanessa, and the Honey-Crisps, have mercy… I ate three in a row the other day. So, with that in mind, I’m going to see about making some apple butter and canning that too. Ohhh, I love the harvest season!
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Anyhow, thank you for enduring all of that! You’re a champ!
Megohm over and out!

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2 Responses to “Back on the Farm”

  1. Vivian Says:

    Sounds like you had a great time!! And overall, it just looks like a lot of fun. Don’t you love Fall? 🙂

  2. weighty Says:

    gonna send this to my mom


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