Posts Tagged ‘crumble’

Since I read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I’ve been trying to keep a seasonal kitchen – which is hard work during the winter. My longing for spring takes many forms, but sharpens when I walk through the produce section, trying to resist the out-of-season fruits grown in a greenhouse or another hemisphere and shipped thousands of miles. (Most of them don’t taste that great, anyway.)

That said, I am thankful for sweet clementines and tangy grapefruits in midwinter, and the reliable if not exactly eco-friendly presence of bananas. But as a girl who can eat berries by the handful, loves peaches swollen with their own juice, and adores fruit cobblers of all kinds, the wait for summer fruits is always too long. So I’ve been haunting the cold corner of the produce section for a few weeks, peering into the spot between the celery, the radishes and the prepackaged fresh herbs, hoping to glimpse those neon-pink stalks of rhubarb, a sure sign that spring and its fruits – and, even better, summer fruits – are on the way.

So I can’t tell you how glad I was to finally, finally wrap four long pink stalks of rhubarb in a plastic bag, pick up a container of strawberries, and come home to wash and admire them, jewel-bright, glistening in my dish drainer. Then I chopped them up, mixed them with some molasses and a little sugar (we were out of honey), whipped up a crumbly topping, and slid it all into the oven.

And oh my. Heaven. Heaven made darker and richer by the molasses, with a hint of allspice and cinnamon – heaven that burst on my tongue with the first bright, red sweetness of spring. J and I spooned up warm, delectable bites of this first spring dessert, fairly groaning with pleasure. And then I ate it for breakfast for several days. (You can download the recipe here.)

It’s coming, we say several times a day around our house, pointing to the swelling buds on trees, the wee new shoots of grass, the rising mercury, the sunshine spilling in the windows. It’s coming. And even though that night was a chilly one, with the wind howling around the eaves of our house, as I savored this first, juicy, sweet-tart dessert of spring, I believed it.


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