Seeing Red

The just desserts of spring

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Last spring, for the first time ever, our backyard garden’s strawberry harvest was so prolific that even after enjoying a plethora of smoothies and desserts made with the delicious red orbs—not to mention gobbling them straight from the source for more than a month—we had enough left over to freeze for the long seasons when the beds were fallow.

Thanks to the tender ministrations of my fellow gardener, this year’s upcoming crop promises to outpace last year’s by at least twofold. In fact, if the amount of blossoms are to be believed, we may soon be inundated with enough strawberries to start our own farm stand (or at least share some with our friends and neighbors).

Recently, I used one of the two remaining bags of frozen fruit to create a sweet treat for my dad’s 81st birthday. After spiriting him away to Zuanich Point Park for a waterfront picnic, I made him close his eyes as I spooned strawberry sauce—made that morning by warming the berries in a saucepan with a dash of vanilla extract and a tablespoon of lemon juice—atop slabs of angel food cake and hand-whipped cream.

“I can’t believe you have strawberries already,” my pops opined soon after taking the first bite. “This is just delicious!”

He was surprised when we informed him the dessert was the result of last June’s bumper crop, but gratified to know that freezing the berries didn’t take away from their flavor.

That information came in handy last weekend. After culling our suddenly enormous rhubarb plant, my significant other asked if I was alright with him using the remaining bag of strawberries to make a rhubarb and strawberry pie. I’ve been a lucky recipient of his pie prowess on many occasions, so I gave the thumbs up and he got baking.

He added a smidgen of ginger to the recipe posted here, and the end result was a mouthwatering concoction that made me realize the just desserts of spring are here to stay—at least until we run out of rhubarb and strawberries.


Rhubarb and Strawberry Pie


1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 pound fresh rhubarb, chopped
2 pints fresh strawberries
1 recipe pastry for a 9-inch double crust pie
2 tablespoons butter
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons white sugar


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add strawberries and chopped rhubarb. Toss with sugar and flour and let stand for 30 minutes.

Pour filling into pie crust. Dot top with butter, and cover with top crust. Seal edges of top and bottom crust with water. Apply yolk to top of pie, using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with sugar. Cut small holes in top to let steam escape. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and brown. Cool on rack.

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