Rhubarb-Strawberry Cobbler (with Fresh Thyme, Orange Zest, and Port!)

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Rhubarb at the farmers market always excites me.  I grew up with a rhubarb patch in our garden, and my mom would always make rhubarb pie for my dad.  There was something about the tartness of the stalks mixed with the sweetness of the sugar that always stuck with me.

Rhubarb is one of those ingredients that can be mixed with almost any fruit and thrown into a cobbler, pie, or crisp and taste delicious.  This time, I chose to go with the classic pairing of rhubarb and strawberry.  But with a couple of my own additions, natch.

Cobblers are so easy that I don’t know why I don’t make one every week.  How could you go wrong with sweet, warm fruit under a buttery biscuit topping??

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All that is required of you is some fresh fruit and a few other ingredients, and wham! you have cobbler.  Listen, go out and pick up some rhubarb and strawberries from the farmers (or other) market and get started.  You’ll be done before you know it and enjoying warm cobbler on your patio while you listen to the summer birds sing your praises!

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Failures and Wins (Apple Cake with Bourbon, Cardamom, and Thyme)

When it comes to cooking and baking, I’m no quitter.  I will try and try again if something doesn’t work out.  In my last post you may have read that I had a terrible day in which most things went horribly wrong.  One of those things was a cake.  I wanted to bake a seasonal cake – something to go with the perfect autumn weather we’ve been having here in the Midwest.

For reasons which befuddle me, the cake was a colossal disaster.  I ended its short life by throwing it, defeated, into the garbage can.  I just don’t get it.  I bake all the time.  I know ratios of flour, sugar, baking soda, etc.  I understand sizes and shapes of cake pans in relation to baking time.  This one just got away from me.

I had an off day.  Cake 1, Sara 0.  But not for long.

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Sundays in the Summer – Raspberry Buttermilk Cake

If you’ve been reading this blog at all, you know that I like to bake.  I love to cook just as much, but when the weekend arrives, I like to pay special attention to baking.  This last weekend was no exception, especially since I found some lovely raspberries at the farmers market on Sunday.

I visited the farmers market alone this weekend.  Normally, Scott and I divide and conquer, but he had some paintings to finish, so I set out with my canvas bags and cash in hand.  I took a little longer wandering around, smelling the produce, checking out the various dogs and their owners, and lingering around the Cajun band playing between vendor booths.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous (we’ve been experiencing 100 + degree days for far too long) so I was in no rush to get back into air conditioning.

I knew I’d be baking this cake later on, so as I walked around I kept my eye out for fresh berries of some sort.  I spied the ruby-red raspberries from quite a distance, and I headed straight for them.  The price was a little steep for just a pint, but I knew that farm fresh berries far surpassed the sad, packaged-in-plastic berries I see in the grocery store.  With a quick exchange of cash, they were mine.

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Blue

What a week it was.

Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t use this forum to air my grievances or share sad stories, but in this case, I feel like I have to.  I’ve been absent from writing and here is why: we lost a member of our family this week.  Our dear cat, Arthur, gave up the ghost on Tuesday morning while lying on my lap.  Roughly six weeks ago he was diagnosed with Lymphosarcoma, and the vet gave him maybe six months.  Unfortunately, he didn’t make it.  However, I know that he was loved intensely for his six short years, and he died on one of his favorite places.  These animals that spend every day with us…sometimes they blend in when we’re busy, and sometimes they push their way in right when we need it.  But when they’re gone, their absence is deeply tangible.  So, forgive me for my negligence.

As it happens, when I find myself in a blue state of mind, I like to cook.  I feel that cooking gets me out of whatever funk I might be in, as it forces me to pay attention, follow a method, and it forces me to redirect my energy.  All good things.  The result this time?  Blueberry pie, naturally.

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