Strawberry-rhubarb crisp + the start of summer.

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Today was (unofficially) the first day of summer! Sure, I still have one more day of school left, but that doesn’t really count; I have no finals, quizzes, last-minute homework, Spanish orals–nothing! Usually on the weekends, there is always something for me to do for school, and so today felt a bit strange because I didn’t have anything to do. Nothing to worry about. I felt like a free woman! So with the whole day wide open, I filled my day with adventure. This morning I drove into Iowa City to hit up the library for some books to start off my summer reading (and parked in the parking ramp for the first time-it was a bit nerve-racking!), browsed through the vendors of the Iowa Arts Fest, helped my biology teacher (and soon to be my Anatomy and Physiology teacher–fingers crossed!) move, and made strawberry-rhubarb crisp. It was a fulfilling day!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

I have been wanting to make this for quite some time now. I have rhubarb in my backyard, so this crisp is even more exciting to make. Crisps are fun to bake because they are so versatile; you can add more of one fruit, less of another, nuts in the topping, etc. It’s a chance to be creative! Swapping the rhubarb for blueberries would be a fun Fourth of July treat. Enjoy!

For the filling:

3 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

3 cups strawberries, chopped similarly to the rhubarb

1/2 cup white granulated sugar or organic evaporated cane juice (you may need to add more sugar if the rhubarb you are using is very tart, or less if sweeter)

2 tablespoons unbleached-all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

*Combine all ingredients and allow to rest until juices start to release from the fruit.

For the topping:

1/2 cup unbleached-all purpose flour or white whole wheat flour

1/4 cup brown sugar or organic dark brown sugar (Mmm..yummy molasses flavor!)

1/4 cup white granulated sugar or organic evaporated cane juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats

6 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes

*Combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and oats. Work 4 tablespoons of the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture seems less loose, and the butter doesn’t seem as visible. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, gently working into the mixture, but leaving the butter in little lumps.

*Place fruit filling in the bottom of an 8×8 inch baking pan, 9 inch baking round, or small casserole dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top the filling with (what else!?) the topping. Bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, carefully cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and allow to cook for 5-8 more minutes (use an oven mitt..the pan is hot!) Serve warm; over vanilla ice cream would be delicious!

Coming soon…carrot cake!

All for now,

Abby

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