Monday, May 23, 2011

sweet memories...

Isn't it funny how your senses can trigger a flood of memories?

One bite of this amazing pie and I was back in my Grandmommy's kitchen circa 1981.

Growing up in the Midwest town of Muncie, Indiana, being raised by my grandparents.

Life was pretty simple back then.

I was in the 7th grade at Wilson Middle School and my best
friend in the entire world was Alicia.  She and I were inseparable.
We sang Joan Jett's "I Love Rock n' Roll" at the top of our lungs as
we experimented with black eyeliner, and rode our bikes all over town.
Her mom, "Bombie", made THE. BEST. mac n' cheese and had the
tannest, longest legs I had ever seen... Daisy Duke had nothing on Bombie.

Most Friday nights were skating night at Gibsons...
until the Disco opened, then they were dancin' nights.

My Grandaddy was a handsome Sailor man, who after
serving his country, settled down and worked at Warner Gear.
He had a passion for fishing, gardening, country music
and cooking a big Sunday morning breakfast.
My Grandmommy was a beautiful, kind, nurturing, lady
and would give her last dime to anyone in need.
She had a passion for canning and baking.

And even though Grandaddy was the Sailor,
it was my Grandmother who could cuss like one. ;)
I miss that about her.

Every May, when strawberries and rhubarb grew hearty
in his garden, he'd selectively pick and bring them
in for my Grandmommy to make her pie.

She made her entire pie from scratch, crust and all.

My Grandmommy passed away suddenly in the Summer of 1997
and I had failed to get the recipe for her Strawberry
Rhubarb Pie, among many others.
I have regretted it since.

My Grandaddy lived for 10 more years after her.
He finally took his brides hand once again in the late Fall of 2007.

I loved them both dearly and miss them desperately every day.

Every May when I see rhubarb is in season, my heart aches.
Not only for them, but for "their" pie.  And because I never
got her recipe, I always pass up the rhubarb and just try
to remember the taste and smell of it.

This year, I bought some.
I brought it home and searched the web for a recipe.
I found one that I sounded yummy, made it,
(slightly different than she used too), put it in the oven and waited.
About an hour later I pulled it out of the oven, and got excited.
The aroma of this pie brought back memories.

*Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with Streusel Topping*

2-3/4 cup sliced fresh rhubarb... about 5-6 medium stalks
2 cups sliced strawberries
2/3 cup sugar
3 Tablespoon cornstarch


1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (1 stick), cut into pieces
1 unbaked deep dish pie crust... either store bought
or your favorite recipe

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries,
 sugar and cornstarch.  Mix well.  The mixture should be
thick and syrupy after sitting for several minutes.

While the filling mixture plays nices for a few minutes,
grab a small bowl.  Toss in the flour and brown sugar.
Cut in the butter until it resembles course crumbles.

Pour the filling mixture into your unbaked pie crust
and sprinkle the streusel topping over the entire pie.

Place onto a shallow rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for about 50 minutes... you more than likely will
need to put foil around the edges about half way through baking.
Keep an eye on it!

Cool completely before slicing.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

I truly meant to take more photos as I cut into it...
but I got caught up in the tidal wave of sweet memories with each bite.

In loving memory for Clyde and Margaret...  You'll always be a part of me.


Amber D. said...

Aww...Ralonda! With my grandmas death being so recent, I loved that. What a beautiful tribute to your Grandaddy and Grandmommy!!!

alicia said...

This was the MOST endearing, loving, nostalgic post I have EVER EVER read!! I can NOT believe that u remember us singing that song!! Do u know to this day when I hear it I can't NOT turn it up and tote~Ah~leeee ROCK OUT! You also know that this brought the biggest, greatest tears to my eyes too, don't you? I love you more than I love Rock n' Roll!!!! LOLLOL
YOU Rock, Rolo!!!! Love you!! <3Lish

Alicia said...