Monday, November 17, 2008

Seasonal disorientation

It’s the middle of November. What does November make you think of? Changing leaves, football, pumpkins? Warm woollies, gray skies, stews and pies?

How about blazing sun, fresh cherries and flip flops? Picnics in the park? Ice cream?

Welcome to the southern hemisphere.

And you know all that stuff they say about how your body responds to changes in seasons, light, and temperature?

Well, I’ve decided that’s all hooey as far as appetite, or my appetite anyway, is concerned. The calendar says November, and therefore my brain says “apple pie.” Incessantly. The fact that it’s 85 and sunny outside doesn’t make as much difference as you might expect.

What does make a difference, though, is those dispiriting, unnaturally shiny end-of-winter storage apples that are all the average supermarket has to offer in the middle of spring. Kills my apple pie buzz dead every time. For a while.


I guess I’ll just have to take consolation in the fact that I can eat my own body weight in rhubarb for the second time in six months.

Rx4 Rhubarb
This is my adaptation of Ruth Reichl’s Roasted Rhubarb, from her wonderful memoir Garlic and Sapphires. It tastes good at any temperature, and can be eaten at any meal of the day, or indeed straight from the pan or fridge if necessary. But it is especially good served warm, as dessert, with a crisp sugar cookie or two alongside.

2 lbs/1 kg rhubarb, sliced into 1-inch pieces
¼-½ cup cinnamon sugar

Place rhubarb in an ovenproof dish, which can be lightly greased with butter if desired. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar and toss to coat. Repeat. If you like it on the sweet side, repeat again. Roast in a hot oven (anywhere from 325F/165C to 425F/210C—it can adapt to whatever else you might need to cook in the oven simultaneously) for about 30 minutes.

Serves 1. Okay, 4 if you decide you want to share.


Cheryl A said... Best Blogger Tips

I remember reading this recipe, thanks for reminding me to try it... next May. I'll admit to being a fan of stewed rhubarb on yoghurt. I freeze rhubarb for wintertime fixes.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

What a great idea - I'll have to try that while there's still some in the stores here.

Ozquilter said... Best Blogger Tips

I really understand those seasonal cravings in the wrong hemisphere, I lived in England for a few years and felt topsy turvy with food cravings in the wrong season.

Nigella also bakes rhubarb, there's a great recipe for it in her 'How to Cook', I adore it stewed with apples and posted about it a few weeks ago - yum!

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

Hey Ozquilter - Thanks for stopping by! Lately I've been hooked on a rhubarb/peach combination; I just blogged about it AGAIN. I'll have to try rhubarb/apple too!

Jane said... Best Blogger Tips

You know, I recently baked rhubarb with just about this exact proportion of sugar to (fruit? I always feel weird calling rhubarb a fruit). And it was *much* too sour for me, and I don't think of myself as liking things super sweet. I think I was acting on advice from Martha Stewart. I wonder if I had more rhubarb than I thought I did.

Roving Lemon said... Best Blogger Tips

I believe rhubarb technically *is* a vegetable, just as tomatoes are technically fruit. And my rule of thumb with rhubarb is to sprinkle it liberally with sugar, toss it, do the whole thing one more time, and then cook it and sweeten more if necessary afterwards. I think the rhubarb itself can vary in tartness also, but it's hard to judge that before it's cooked.

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