Using Seasonal Foods as our Foremothers Did
Good day to you, friend, and welcome to our cozy abode where I help you create a cozy home with old-fashioned family values. Filling the bellies with homemade foods is a must for a super-comfy home and using seasonal foods in your kitchen surely harkens back to a day when our ancestral cooks used what they had on hand or grew on their properties.
Strawberries and rhubarb are the highlights of our conversation today, my friend. In this RECIPE TUTORIAL I discuss my own experience and heritage regarding rhubarb. I mention that this fruit is not one to which southerners like myself are accustomed. However (and thankfully), my northern grandparents always grew and used rhubarb so I have some connection to this fruit.
Strawberries are a little bit more challenging to grow, in my opinion. One must not only plant appropriately but also fight with the birds for a decent harvest. When I was growing up on our farm in the 1970-1980s, Mama attempted to grow strawberries outside our back door but I don’t recall that she was abundantly successful. My Mr. Patient’s parents grew strawberries and his Mama always made freezer jam from them.
Rhubarb is different. Now, please don’t think that one must have a great garden or super green thumb to grow rhubarb. Honestly, my neighbor gave me a plant last year. I let it sit longer than I should have in the cardboard box, then I finally planted it. The thing yielded fruit last year and even more this year without my doing anything but putting it in the ground. On a recent walk in a neighboring village, I recognized the big green leaves spilling over from the landscaping at a bed and breakfast house onto the sidewalk. Lo and behold, it was rhubarb! They had used the plant with its beautiful ruby red stalks in their landscaping. Genius!
You will love this recipe that is perfect every time! Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake is amazing with fresh, spring/early summer fruit but you might like to use frozen fruit in the summer or even try other fruits. I wonder how peach and rhubarb would pair? hmm…..yummy, I bet.
Let me know how you like this recipe which comes from my first cookbook, From Katie’s Kitchen, Vol. One. You can check out that cookbook and my second one RIGHT HERE, fellow homemaker. 🙂
Each of my cookbooks has nearly 200 recipes and the recipes in the first two cookbooks do not overlap. I do hope you’ll grab one or both of these books of tried-and-true downhome recipes.
Remember, count your blessings,
Strawberry Rhubarb Coffee Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour I use unbleached.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt I use healthy pink salt.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups rhubarb, washed sliced in 1-inch pieces
- 16 oz frozen sliced, sweetened strawberries thawed, undrained
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice fresh or bottled
- ⅓ cup cornstarch
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- Batter: Stir together first five ingredients. Cut in butter to fine crumbs. Combine buttermilk, eggs, vanilla and add to butter-flour mixture, stirring to moisten and combine.
- Filling: In saucepan, combine fruits and cook on medium-low, covered, for 5 minutes. Add lemon juice. Combine sugar and cornstarch in separate bowl, then add to fruit mixture. Cook and stir on medium 4-5 minutes until thickened and bubbly. Set aside to cool. (This may be made a day or two ahead and kept refrigerated.)
- Topping: Combine sugar and flour. Cut in butter until fine crumbs.
- Assembly: Into a well-greased 9 x 13 pan or dish, spread a little over half of the batter. (Two square pans may be used and one frozen after baking.) Spread cooled filling over the batter then top with mounds of remaining batter. Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake 350F 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes then enjoy warm or completely cooled.