There is so much to do, with the world spinning, and the Covid-19 virus still prevalent.  My small town has never really seen a stable plateau in case numbers, for maybe one or two days the number of infected remains the same then it ticks up another one, two or three — most recent jump of new cases.

With the re-opening phase and also the nicer weather, a lot of folks are relaxing but because I live with and caretake someone elderly and at risk this is no time to relax for me.  There is every day cleaning, cleaning projects, laundry, researching contractors plus my regular job to do from 9-5 as well as yard and beach clean up.  There are some days I think my list is too long and converging into overwhelming — so some days go better than others.

For many years I have wanted to do a farm share/CSA, they are expensive but with the Covid-19 crisis, and economic fall out, I wanted to support a local farm and also I felt like perhaps this was an alternative to the supply chain for fresh fruit and vegtables.

Only one (1) area farm, has a CSA delivery to my town, I signed up for flex plan, every other week which is not as costly.  They come on Monday night, about 7pm, which isn’t a great time but there is no other choice.  The farm I subscribe to for the share, has owners who run a couple of restaurants in Cambridge and with the high demand they were able to shift over their employees to the farm so that was good.

We’re only two deliveries in and my mum isn’t happy, she likes only some of the items, so others we give away to her friend of 70 plus years my “aunty” Brenda and also Brenda’s neighbor H., who does runs to discount supermarket outside town kindly included a few items/requests from us, and H., she is a vegetarian — so we are sort of trading off and I think keeping good karma.

They gave us only a few stalks of rhubarb, there was a bar/pastry recipe in the CSA share newsletter but I pulled out my copy of, The Farm House Cook Book by Susan Herrmann Loomis.  Saw her promoting this book decades ago, I think on the Today Show.  At the time, I thought I was going to be married in a couple of years, and living perhaps in New Jersey and the idea of cooking healthy for a larger family was something I needed to figure out.  This book was also very much farm to table, a concept revolutionalized by Alice Waters, but I did not know that at the time, so it seemed very novel to me.

It may not be visable in the photo, but in the left right hand corner the price tag of $6.50 USD is still on it from Buck A Book — a discount book store I still miss so much and have previously written about.

This is a cool cook book, she really did travel all over the United States to different small family farms so you hear about her visits, local lore plus tips of how to handle certain vegtables and ingredients.  Since I did not end up on New Jersey with a family, I’ve not pulled many recipes from this book, the exception being a pear pie recipe I have used when our pear tree gives us pears — we will see how it goes this year for the pears — working at home I should be able to gather more before the birds and squirrels get them all.

Note, at the time the author lived in Maine, she now commutes I think between the U.S. (not sure I think either California or Connecticut) and a house in France and apartment in Paris.  She gives private cooking lessons both the US and France, and the house is also available as a vacation rental.  Few years ago I looked her up online, found her blog and subscribed to her email newsletter.

Actually there were two rhubarb recipes in this book, one for a cake, I may attempt next time if they give us any more. Another for a crunch/crisp, she said you could mix in other berries and fruit.  So I decided to try it, and matched the two cups of dice rhubarb I had with a cup of mixed fruit:  the end of the blueberries about a half cup, some of the strawberries from the CSA — I’m not usually a strawberry fan but these are beautiful, but I did not want to use them all because my mum likes them with yogurt.  And I also added one apple.

On another note, I’m happy to be reading again.  A few books that I finished, I registered with BookCrossing and I checked wish lists and reached out to folks but got confused, because I offerred two books at once, sent out a duplicate offer and so I had duplicate acceptances and I feel terrible because I had to message two/2 people and tell them I goofed and the book is already taken.  And am sending a hand written note to both with some Bookcrossing stickers and book marks from Indie bookstores because I sincerely regret my error.  Will have to be much more careful going forward.

I’ve finally been able to finish The Bully Pulpit (about Theordore Roosevelt and Taft).  My next nonfiction read will be: Becoming by Michelle Obama.  My next Jane Austen read will probably be Persuasion because I like to read it in the sumner and then Mansfield Park.  I’m due for a re-read on Mansfield Park and I think it’s a good time since Jane Austen had very specific views on the slave trade, and American culture and society.

One thought on “Rhubarb, Book Crossing and Jane Austen.

  1. To send hand written notes to the patrons receiving your books speaks volumes about the kind of purity of heart you have. I feel joyful reading your words and the simplicity of life you espouse, something which the post Covid world needs to embrace.

    You must read BECOMING, it’s my personal favourite .

    Liked by 2 people

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