On Saturday I became industrious and borrowed two, not one but two, juice steamers.
I gathered six humongous bowlfuls of grapes.
I steamed and gathered luscious purple grape juice.
Sixteen quarts and several large jugs of juice later, I tasted it.
Luckily, I hardly made a dent in the grape crop, so after Googling "grape harvest in Yamhill County" and discovering that the vineyards won't be harvesting for another two or maybe four weeks, I decided to hold off on the rest. Another victim of our cool summer. This batch will have to be sweetened, which is what I was hoping to avoid this year.
On a better note, the lemon cucumbers and green beans are still producing and the tomatoes are responding nicely to the clear plastic cover. Every day or two I roast another batch of tomatoes for the freezer.
And the rhubarb is still thriving, so I thought I would post our favourite rhubarb dessert recipe.
With suitably amazing photos to accompany said recipe.
This is the easiest thing you will ever make and it can be adapted to many different fruits and cake flavours. I first tasted it at a ballooning brunch, back in the days I used to chase balloons in the early mornings of summer. I have made it so often that people call it my recipe, but in truth I have seen it posted in many places on the internet.
So, here it is .
Rhubarb Dump Cake.
Which name usually sets Charlie to tittering.
First, wash, trim and slice about 4 cups of rhubarb.
Don't let it go to seed in the early spring or it will be tough.
Oh, and I use quite a bit more than 4 cups, but that's the official amount.
Then sprinkle a cup of sugar over that.
Other fruit may not need as much sugar.
And I use a little less sugar even with the rhubarb.
Because I do try to eat healthily, really I do!
Don't you wish I would just quit messing with things?
Next, cover with a package of cake mix.
White or yellow.
I like the butter flavours, but you can experiment with lemon or spice.
Bake at 350 degrees (oh, how I wish I knew where the "degree" sign was!) until golden brown and the cake is set. This is tricky, because, depending on how much fruit you use, it might be done in 45 minutes or up to an hour. It will be all bubbly and pink and smelling delicious.
It will look much better than this.
This is a stupid low-res internet photo, because I forgot to take a pic of the finished product.
But it's close enough.
Other fruits to try: blackberries, peaches, pears, plums. Spice cake would be delicious with pears or peaches, don't you think?
Useless fact of the day: Rhubarb was used for medicinal purposes by the Chinese for thousands of years. The use of the petioles as food is fairly recent, first recorded in 17th century England as sugar became affordable for common people.
Note to Samantha: If you really want to get on Charlie's good side, make him one of these. Because you know I will as soon as he gets home!