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Gingery Rhubarb Crisp

Posted Apr 24 2013 11:35am

I feel a little out of sorts, artistically speaking. I haven’t picked up a film camera or jotted down notes for new photo projects in weeks. I’ve been in the kitchen coming up with new recipes and testing and retesting them until I arrive at the place where I vow never to saute another clove of garlic only to find myself in front of the stove bright and early the next morning. Olive oil, garlic, and ginger warm in the pan. Then it’s a chiffonade of kale or chopped baby spinach followed by a poached egg or two before I sit down to eat breakfast at the kitchen table. Sun streaks spread across the pink tabletop covered with round yellow placements. Somewhere, my grandmother is looking down on this scene smiling. Pink and yellow together along with fresh eggs hatched from the chickens she and my grandfather raised in the barn out back are some my favorite memories of her.


These early spring weeks are filled with hearty breakfasts and quiet moments when writing opens up the intimacy of connecting with life. Newly planted English peas and Bibb lettuces sprout in the garden bed and I casually rub my growing midsection in anticipation of what’s to come. Yep, things are growing around here and I’ve been waiting and holding onto my excitement until we reached the half-way mark to tell you this news—I’m pregnant and our little sprout (a boy!) arrives in September. As you can imagine, David, Luke, and I are terribly thrilled and after a queasy first trimester, I’m happy to settle into the second.

It’s true, a baby changes your life in dramatic and unexpected ways. In my experience, each pregnancy has brought on an onslaught of welcome creativity. Three months after Luke was born, I started this blog. Since then, I’ve worked hard to design the kind of creative life and career I spent years only dreaming about. I flounder in moments and lose trust, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Five months before this baby will be born, I’ve finished the second chapter of an ebook and am making more work in the kitchen, studio, and at the writing table than previously.

I say all of this because I’m in awe. We’re having another baby and I can’t wait to see what comes next. Who knows, I may even pick up my camera today…

To celebrate, I made a gingery rhubarb crisp. Come on over—we have a breezy front porch with a weeping cherry out front and plenty of spoons to go around.


Gingery Rhubarb Crisp
makes 6 servings

Filling 2 pounds fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
½ cup natural cane sugar
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Topping ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup old-fashioned oats
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup chopped walnuts
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup (vegan or dairy) butter (softened)

Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking pan.

In a large bowl, mix the rhubarb, sugar, orange zest, vanilla, ginger, and flour together. Pour mixture into the prepared pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, ginger, walnuts, sugar, and butter. Use a pastry blender or your fingers to cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the rhubarb filling and pat firmly in place.

Bake uncovered 35 to 40 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling around the edges and the top is lightly browned. Serve warm with vanilla coconut ice cream.

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