Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Bluebarb Crisp and Grandpa's Farm

Hello everyone! I know I haven't posted in a while. Its the time of summer when I run the studio's dance and theater camps. We've been having a blast and everyone is doing a wonderful job!

In between last week's camp and this week's camp I got to go to my favorite place in the world for a family reunion; my grandpa's blueberry farm in southwest Michigan. When I'm there I just seem to be more at peace with everything. Any problems with jobs or housing, or money don't matter anymore and I just feel good being. Sort of a "God created me and this beautiful world I'm in and that's enough to make me happy" feeling. Not to mention the joy of seeing my wonderful and amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other extended family. Hanging out in the barn, tooling around on four wheelers, swinging over the creek on the rope swing, playing pooh sticks on the bridge, feeding the pond's resident snapping turtle, and of course picking blueberries! Who could ask for anything more?

When it came time to leave my son began to cry and exclaimed over and over, "I want to stay here forever!" One of my cousins was touched by his sorrow and shared this reflection on Facebook.

"When I was a child, I remember having to leave family members after a fun event like a reunion. I would be so sad, crying even, at having to part from such wonderful people who loved me. What hurt additionally was the fact that my mother, father, aunts and uncles weren't crying. Weren't they sad to leave their family? Won't they miss them? Don't they love them?

Now, of course, I realize the necessity of leaving visits and returning back to our busy lives. Parting is inevitable, but we take consolation in the hope of seeing them, our loved ones, again.

Watching one of my young cousins weep over our departure struck me. The young ones haven't endured as many goodbyes as those who've lived longer, but does this give us, the older ones, an excuse to be numb? Does the quantity of our goodbyes mean we should display less passion for those we love? I have become so accustomed to leaving and reuniting that I forget reuniting is only a hope, and not a certainty."
I certainly look forward to the next time we can all get together, especially on Thanksgiving. This year will mark the tenth anniversary of "Thanksgiving in the Barn," and we are all excited! As excited as we are my cousin's reflection strikes a chord as my grandparents are getting older and slowing down. Will we have one more Thanksgiving with them?  Two? Five? More? Less? My grandparents are some the most loving, holy, people I know, and I have been blessed to still have all my grandparents on both sides.  Its a tough thing to think about, but a reminder of how precious time with our families is.

While we go back to our lives at home and hope for the joy of the next family gathering, we can reminisce about those good times with a lovely dessert made from the blueberries I picked on Grandpa's farm. I also included some rhubarb I picked from my dad's backyard once we got home. We call this fruit combination "bluebarb" and its one of my favorites. Its great in a pie as well as made into jam. Just to let you know, I don't really measure too much with a crisp recipe, except for the topping.

Bluebarb Crisp


Fruit mixture:

fresh blueberries
rhubarb, chopped
lemon juice

Crisp topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
6 tablespoons soft butter

1. Combine the blueberries and rhubarb in a 9 x 13 baking dish with a little flour, sugar, and lemon juice. Dot with butter (you can use the two leftover tablespoons from the crisp topping for this.)

2. Combine all the ingredients for the crisp topping in a bowl and mix until you a good chunky consistency.

3. Crumple the topping on top of the fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream. 

This post is linked up on Catholic Bloggers Network Monthly Link Up Blitz and  Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday: Rhubarb

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