this used to be our family blog entitled "British Royalty versus the Ramsey Clan" (since i'm descended from King Edward II and jon is a descendant from the Ramsay Clan) but since jon never participated, and my mom is the only one who reads this, it is now a format for writing her letters. I mean, for writing you letters, mom.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dear Mom,

i made the most amazing dessert with the rhubarb you gave me from your garden.  it stemmed from the day you gave it to me and asked what i thought rhubarb tasted like, if i had to explain it to someone who'd never tasted it, and we both said, "like a really tart kiwi."

so, i had all this rhubarb, and a bulk carton of kiwi fruit, and decided they should become married in a dessert.

i found a martha stewart recipe online for rhubarb berry crumble, and changed it a bit, and it ended up making the most delicious dessert i've tasted in a long time (that didn't have chocolate in it).  you HAVE to try it sometime...

here's the recipe:


3 cups rhubarb, chopped 1/4" pieces
3 kiwi fruits, skin on, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 zest of one orange (use leftover 1/4 zest for crumble topping)
fresh orange juice from half an orange
pinch of salt

(mix and pour into shallow 9 x 13 " baking dish and let sit 15 minutes)

*crumble topping*

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 (the leftover) orange zest
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups flour (cookie dough texture)
pinch salt 

(mix and sprinkle 1/2" balls over top of mixture in baking dish)

Oven: 375 degrees F 
Bake: 60 minutes or until golden brown, bubbling sides

serve over ice cream or yogurt if desired... but i liked it best alone.

mmmmmmmmmmmm!  Thanks for the rhubarb!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear Mom,

A couple months ago, i decided to stop making whole wheat bread for sandwiches and regular eating.  My homemade wheat bread couldn't compete with the rise and softness of artisan bakeries.  

But, i did have success making jon's favorite bread, a french baguette:


Then in April, Phineas the cat, and Margie and i had a nice warm spring on the upstairs balcony while the trees were blossoming.  It was one of our last times to relax outside before moving downstairs.

When we moved to the two-bedroom apartment right below us in May, Margie got a present from Grandma Pat (a dog bed) that she lovingly shared with Phineas. See, dogs and cats can be friends:

Jon bought these for me the day before mother's day.  I asked him if they were pink because he thought we were having a girl and he agreed.  Two days later, we found out we were indeed having a girl.  So, i took this picture as a memento for daddy's girl:

About a week ago, as you know, you came to help me garden around our patio (which is encouraged by the apartment manager) with very nice plants from your gardens.  By "help" i mean, you "did" all of the work, as i remember doing nothing... which was nice and relaxing for me.  It reminded me of watching you garden when i was a little girl... i would lie in the grass and watch you pull weeds out of the flower beds or pick thousands of raspberries while getting attacked by thousands of mosquitoes.

After you left, it rained heavily for days and days - the plants seemed to love that, because they are doing very well... and even that Hydrangea you thought would die as perked up and has many green leaves on it.  This was taken on a cloudy day (today), so you can't see how well they look, but the buttercups are blooming, along with the little dark red flowers, and the coral bells (liz flowers) are shooting out new buds.  I could've taken some close ups, but i like this long shot so you can see how pretty it is underneath my windows:

And here is the hosta on the other side of the patio.  It has really liked the rain and had gotten greener each day, i think:

My flower pots are doing exceptionally well considering they survived several heavy-fat-rain thunder storms.  Although, the hanging plant (cashmere) does like to be brought inside during super heavy rain or else it loses too many blossoms.  It almost looks like we live in a field!

And here's the other pots:

Hopefully it'll get warm again and we'll have some hot sunny days.  I'm ready for that.