Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Last summer, I baked rhubarb pies several times, trying different recipes with different degrees of success, and I was looking to give it a try this summer when local rhubarb appeared on the market. I found the recipe I liked most, and this time, I didn’t change anything in how the filling is made — precisely that proportion of fruits, precisely that amount of sugars.     

I didn’t cover my pie; instead, I sprinkled some streusel on top, and it worked perfectly.  

So, here it goes:

  • 1 defrosted 9-inch pie crust
  •  3 cups of rhubarb, cut 1/2 -inch length,   
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange extract (instead of 1 tbsp of orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Start preheating the oven after the filling is mixed so that it would release some liquid and leave the liquid in a bowl when you fill the crust with the filling.

I didn’t put the lattice on top and didn’t use an egg. Instead, I prepared some streusel topping with 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 3 tbsp of butter which I crushed with my fingers and mixed with dry components. Then I baked it as instructed: 20 min on 400F and 35 min on 350F. It was already pretty late, so I left it to cool down overnight.     

In the morning it was the most perfect thing.

I found critical with this recipe the proportion of rhubarb and strawberries and sugar, adding cornstarch and a cooldown before serving.

Last Night

Yesterday was the last day Boris was here, and it was one of the most productive days of his stay. Even though he had to leave to the airport at 6 PM, and even though we slept a little bit (by my standards :)), we did a lot! It would be a great day, except it ended with my mom on her first trip to the emergency room.

Igor took her to Devon market for shopping, and somehow she tripped on something on the floor and fall just the moment Igor looked away in search of the shopping cart. She had serious bleeding on the left side of her face. Somebody got her a bandaid, and she even continued shopping; however, she felt lightheaded. When Igor called me, I told him we need to take her to the emergency room to check for a concussion. It ended up alright: the nearest 24-hour emergency was not far away, and we didn’t even have to wait long. She got a CT scan, and she had no concussion, and the doctor put pain-relieving patches on her back and chest where she said it hurt and a stitch on her face. But even with everybody being very efficient, we left the hospital at 11 PM and had to wait for Uber and then drop her off first, and then me.

I am glad we took her to emergency and that I do not have to worry for days whether it could be a concussion, so I won’t even say that I planned that evening differently ๐Ÿ™‚

Blueberry Breakfast Casserole

This recipe is just amazing! My take-away are two things which I am going to use in the future:

  • soaking overnight, not just for ten munites before cooking or baking
  • adding almond (or vanilla or other) extract 

Both make the “dough” taste heavenly,

I made a half-portion in a rectangular baking pan. Copying it here, so that I do not need to jump to the original recipe each time:

Sliced stale bread, enough to cover the bottom of the pan 

1 cup blueberries (or other berries)

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cardamon

STREUSEL TOPPING

1/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons butter, cold and cubed

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

I used an 8X8 inch pan. Gease with nonstick spray. Line prepared baking pan with bread, filling all the cracks. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, milk, sugar, and extracts together until well combined. Pour over the bread. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight. 

To save time in the morning, I prepared the topping the night before as well:

Combine the brown sugar and flour together in a medium bowl. Crash the cubed butter with your fingers while mixing it in.

In the morning:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove pan from the refrigerator. Sprinkle blueberries evenly over the top. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the soaked bread. Top with walnuts.

Bake for 45-55 minutes or until slightly firm and golden brown on top. I baked it for 50 minutes.ย 

No TV?!

Another long-overdue thing was finding a way to mount the large monitor I am using instead of the TV. I do not have any TV services for many years, nor do I do Netflix or anything like that. It does not mean I am not enjoying the movies, but it is always a special occasion. I either go to the movie theater to watch something extra special or rent something online and watch (by myself or with somebody).

Still, I need a large monitor to watch movies with somebody. In my old house, I put a large monitor where my old TV set used to be. I could not find a similarly situated place in my new house; besides, I didn’t want a large thing that I do not often use to occupy a significant space and to on the view at all times.

Boris suggested a rolling TV cart, but Vlad rejected it, saying that it won’t help – I will still need to store it “somewhere”. Boris backed up and suggested another desk mount (the one I had could not hold the weight of the monitor). He chose a model, but it arrived after he left. When Anna & family visited last time, I asked them to attach a monitor, but it turned out that this desk mount could not be attached because of the shape of the monitor.

I started to look again, but I could not find any other model high enough and hold the weight. Finally, I decided to change the course and started to look for the TV mount. That is, after two months of search, I was back to Boris’s original idea. Funny story – it turned out that although the attachment was “universal,” it still didn’t work with the shape of this monitor! The only way we made it work was to shift the position of the mounting brackets, so now they stick up like two horns :). But the whole thing works beautifully! The stand has wheels, and in normal position, it stands behind my desk occupying zero extra space. It can be easily pulled forward, and then people sitting in the living room can watch. Or it can be pulled to the sunroom, where there are more electric outlets there, and there is a shelf for a laptop. I can even roll it into the dining room!

Yes, and as for the title of this post… As I said, I do not have television for years, if not decades, but since in my old house there was a large object sitting where people would expect to have a TV set, nobody asked this question, And at my new place, the first thing most people would ask is “Where is your TV?” or just “And no TV?!”

๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

Keeping Fixing Everything

While Boris is here, we are trying to complete tons of house projects with intermittent success. One of the happiest things for me was that Boris installed the remaining rolling blinds in the sunroom.

Schaumburg IKEA didn’t have the right size and color, and I needed six of them! At some point, I saw on their website that they have four, but since there were only four, they were not selling them online. That was at the end of May when Vlad and Dylon were still here. When Dylon took me to Schaumburg Toyota to sell my car, I asked him to stop at IKEA, and I bought these four grey blinds. I still needed two more, but they were nowhere to find. Finally, when I started to see the “last chance” notice by all blinds of that model, I decided to purchase two green ones. It ended up being not bad at all, and now I have this huge relief of one more thing being fixed!

A Very Long Bike Ride

One of our plans was to go on a long ride on the Lakefront Trail. I didn’t do long rides for a while, so I was unsure how long I could bike. The longest I biked this spring was one hour and twenty minutes. The total length of the Lakefront Trail is over 18 miles one way, and we are 2.5 miles away from the start.


We decided not to rush. Saturday was the perfect weather; we got out after breakfast and decided we are not doing more than 3 hours. In reality, we biked for 2.5 hours, but I was surprised by how far we went! I decided it’s time to start going back because I started to be a little bit tired. It was a good call – we didn’t realize we had a tailwind all the way there! On the way back, we had to go against the wind!


Surprisingly, it took us only 10 minutes more, probably because we made fewer photo-stops

Continue reading “A Very Long Bike Ride”

***

Boris flew in on Friday, and it took him almost two hours to get through the immigration. He said there were just two agents for several hundred people. Then, we made a mistake. Or rather, I let this mistake happen.

Since we moved to the city, Boris said that now we do not need to take Uber to the airport because we can take L. I told him it would be a very long trip because you need to get into the city and get out again. Last time, I called Uber because we were fixing things until the last minute.

Now he mentioned it again, and I said – let’s.

Because the inner airport train is still not operating, it took us 30 minutes to get Terminal 5 to Terminal 2. And then – another two hours with all the waits! I told him – at least, it was on the way from the airport, not the other way ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope that one experiment was enough ๐Ÿ™‚

How Is My New Job

At work, there are so many things every day that I do not type fast enough :). It’s a very different environment, different ways of doing things. In the beginning, I felt like Chad is breaking his promises and does not let me do the right things. However, it was not the case, and yesterday, we had a conversation that I do not even know how to describe. In this conversation, we started with some very practical questions, but then we went into a very theoretical discussion about levels of database modeling. I can’t remember when was the last time I discussed such things, especially as a part of my job responsibilities :).
It’s breathtaking how many things are out there for me to improve and to create from scratch.

As usual, one me is not enough:)