14 December, 2010

Rhubarb Pie for the Masses

David King's Most Delicious Rhubarb Pie

The shot of the rhubarb pie shows a green filling rather than the accepted red of rhubarb.  The green rhubarb comes from our typical lack of frost.  Rhubarb, in cold climates, is revered as the first fresh thing a person can eat in those very early days of spring.  Rhubarb shoots rise from the base of the plant a brilliant red after being frozen for the winter, but not so many freezing winters in Los Angeles.  I know it LOOKS like 'celery pie' but believe me, it has that tart punch of rhubarb.  This version is not cloyingly sweet, like a Marie Calendar's pie would be.  It has some sweetness but still allows the tart, earthy taste of rhubarb to shine. Note that the leaves of rhubarb are poisonous; we only eat the leaf stem that botanists call the "petiole."

2 double pie crusts (I have never mastered making pie crusts, I admit, I buy them)
2½ pounds fresh rhubarb, cut into ½ inch pieces, or 2 20 ounce packages of frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
1 cup sugar, or to taste
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Juice and grated zest of 1 bright-skinned orange

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F

Cut the rhubarb into pieces and fill your pie crusts. Combine all ingredients except rhubarb in bowl. Spoon this mixture as evenly as you can over the rhubarb – the act of baking will take care of the distribution of the sauce. Cover with a top crust and pinch to secure.  Cut openings for steam and sauce to bubble through.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes, until the filling has bubbled and thickened. Let cool on a rack before serving.

Makes two pies.

This is a bachelor male's adaptation of a Martha Stewart recipe which takes about 3 hours longer to make.

13 December, 2010

Felco Pruners Are HERE!

The initial stock of Felco pruners and Swiss Army Knives are in stock now!  I have F-6's, 8's and 11's as well as the new composite handle pruners, 160S (for small hands) and 160L (for large hands - that's it in the photo).  I have a couple of sharpeners, holsters (like the one I use) and a few Swiss Army knives for grafting.  Contact me via my email address, or by phone to arrange a pick up time.

Did I mention these make fabulous Christmas presents to any gardener no matter what kind of garden they have?  The 160's are perfect for those who don't garden a lot but yet need a quality pruner that is lightweight and durable - the composite handles are made from recycled materials and are themselves recyclable - and replaceable so they have the same life-time quality as the original Felcos. Like the entire Felco line, they are built to be a life-time investment.  

I am proud of the opportunity to be a Felco representative and I know my prices are competitive (really competitive) and I repair, resharpen and refurbish Felco pruners that have been abused and need some TLC.  

You can find me at The Learning Garden at Venice High School, most Wednesdays through Sundays, 10 AM to 5 PM.

I hope I can be of service to you.