Friday, June 7, 2013

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie to Celebrate a Birthday

It's the birthday of the woman who wrote, "We real cool. We / Left school. We / Lurk late. We / Strike straight." Gwendolyn Brooks, who was born in Topeka, Kansas June 7, 1917 grew up and spent nearly all her life in the Southside of Chicago. She began writing poems when she was a child and published her first poem at the age of 13.

Her parents encouraged her literary ambitions and put her into contact with Langston Hughes, to whom she wrote and sent her poems. Langston Hughes wrote back to her: "You have talent. Keep writing! You'll have a book published one day."
She published her second collection of poetry, Annie Allen, in 1949, and in it she used an experimental form that she called the sonnet-ballad. Critics liked it, and a Times book reviewer praised her work as "full of insight and wisdom and pity, technically dazzling." The next year, in 1950, she became the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize.

She is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, including Children Coming Home (The David Co., 1991); Blacks (1987); To Disembark (1981); The Near-Johannesburg Boy and Other Poems (1986); Riot (1969); In the Mecca (1968); The Bean Eaters (1960); Annie Allen (1949), for which she received the Pulitzer Prize; and A Street in Bronzeville (1945).

She said about her poetry: "I wrote about what I saw and heard in the street. I lived in a small second-floor apartment at the corner, and I could look first on one side and then the other. There was my material."
She also wrote numerous other books including a novel, Maud Martha (1953), and Report from Part One: An Autobiography (1972), and edited Jump Bad: A New Chicago Anthology (1971).

In 1968 she was named Poet Laureate for the state of Illinois, and from 1985-86 she was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. She also received an American Academy of Arts and Letters award, the Frost Medal, a National Endowment for the Arts award, the Shelley Memorial Award, and fellowships from the Academy of American Poets and the Guggenheim Foundation.

by Gwendolyn Brooks

I put a seed into the ground
And said,"I'll watch it grow." 
I watered it and cared for it
As well as I could know.
One day I walked in my backyard,
And oh, what did I see!
My seed had popped itself right out,
Without consulting me.

poem taken from Caroline Kennedy's book Poems to Learn by Heart
Rhubarb Plant
Never mind the fact I often can't find my keys or glasses, but I can almost always come up with a recipe. As you can see from the photo this well worn recipe is from the newspaper (circa late 1970's). The recipe has been cut, stapled and taped but still is readable.

 Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Cook's notes: Rhubarb is in full swing and a good time to take advantage of the crop.
  • 1-1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 TB. quick cooking tapioca
  • dash of salt
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 cups cut finely rhubarb
  • 2 TB. cinnamon
  • Preheat oven 425
  • In a large bowl combine sugar, tapioca, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add cut strawberries and rhubarb. Mix well to coat.
  • Let stand 30 minutes and stir occasionally
  • Place pie crust in pan and use a slotted spoon to drain juices and place fruit mixture in pie crust
  • Dot with butter and place pie crust on top of the rhubarb mixture
  • Brush crust lightly with milk
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon together a couple of tablespoons and sprinkle over crust
  • Use a sharp knife to cut a few vents in the crust
  • Add strips of foil on outer edge to prevent crust edges from over browning    
  • Bake 10 minutes at 425 and reduce heat to 400 and bake 30 minutes longer or until filling is bubbling and looks set
  • Wait till completely cooled before cutting so pie can set up

Rhubarb Chiffon Pie
recipe from Kathy H.
Cook's notes: The filling is enough for two 8 inch pies or one large 9 inch pie. Think about making one pie for yourself and surprise your neighbor with a pie :)   
  • 1-3 oz. pkg. raspberry jello
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups rhubarb made into a sauce (sauce:use 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups finely cut rhubarb in a saucepan, cook till tender about 5-6 minutes) 
  • 1 large can of evaporated milk that has been in refrigerator several hours 
  • 1 TB. lemon juice
  • 2 graham cracker pie shells
  • In a small saucepan combine powdered jello, sugar and rhubarb sauce
  • Bring to boil, cool until slightly thickened
  • Whip cold evaporated milk in a large bowl until quite thick
  • Add in lemon juice and fold into the rhubarb mixture
  • Spoon fruit mixture into pie shell and refrigerate 
  • Serve with dollop whip cream  

1 comment:

  1. I'm making this recipe later today.

    Am also searching your archives for a salmon recipe I thought I saw here.

    You have THE BEST recipes.