As a parent it is funny who you meet while you are watching your kids play sports. When my son was a senior at Beacon High we went to watch him play in the PSAL Soccer Championship game. It started with the singing of our national anthem and the parents of one of my son’s teammates were singing along. The Dad had a good voice, but the Mom was something else. I said to the Dad that she should sing the national anthem at Yankee stadium. He replied she has a Tony. We just knew Victoria Clark as TL’s Mom, not the Tony Award performer in The Light in the Piazza. Since then Victoria has appeared on Broadway in for The Light in the Piazza. She has since been in Sister Act, and has recently received reviews in Los Angeles for her performance in Follies.
This is not about a recipe from Victoria Clark. It is about another teammate’s Mom, Lucinda Scala. Lucinda works with Martha Stewart, has a TV show on the Hallmark channel called Mad Hungry, a blog by the same name and cookbooks ranging from Jamaican to Italian cuisine. One of her books from which this recipe is taken is “Mad Hungry Feeding Men & Boys”. She knows something about the topic as she has three boys all of whom can cook and eat.
As this is the time of year for strawberries and rhubarb I thought I would try a pie from her cookbook. The cookbook has a lot of good recipes for all meals of the day. I always forget to keep the recipes for pie dough that I like so each pie is an experiment. In making my pie, I screwed up the dough because I used more milk then it needed. I also did not buy enough rhubarb, so I varied from the recipes in using more strawberries than rhubarb. This required some drainage of the excess liquid from the pie. In the end the pie turned out well. It was both sweet and a little tart.
The following is an abridged version of Lucinda’s recipe, not my variation.
Dough: 1 double crusted 9 or 10 inch pie. You can just make a lattice pie top if you prefer. I had to.
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 sticks very cold unsalted butter
½ cup very cold milk or water
Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and cut the butter slices into the flour (pulse it if you are using a processor). Pour in milk until the dough holds together in a ball. You may need less milk if the dough is getting too sticky. Place the dough onto a plastic wrap, turn the edges into the middle and press them together. Then cut the dough in half and form a disk with each piece, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
2 cups sliced strawberries
4 cups sliced rhubarb
1½ cups sugar
½ cup all purpose flour (plus some for rolling the dough)
1¼ teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat oven to 425⁰ F. Rollout the dough halves to form pie base (about 11 inches) and top or lattice.
In a large bowl combine strawberries, rhubarb and all the sugar. Stir in the flour and salt to all the fruit is covered. After placing the filling in the dough lined pie plate you can dot it with butter. You can also make an egg wash by whisking the egg and milk and coating the pie crust, top (or lattice) to keep it from burning. I
actually used the excess liquid from the strawberries instead, which worked out
fine. You can sprinkle the top with a little sugar, but I chose not to.
Position the pie in the center lower third of the oven. Place a cookie sheet (may want aluminum foil on it) below the pie to catch any overflowing. Highly recommended. Cook for 20 minutes at 425⁰F and then at 400⁰F until it is golden brown and cooked through. This will take about 50 to 60 minutes.
THE KHANS, DIVINE WIND, AND OUR PROSPECT HEIGHTS VETS:
One of the many joys of having children is that you get to learn with them. A summer reading book that my son had upon entering high school was “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford. It is a worthwhile non-fiction summer read for adults as well. It teaches a lot about leadership, organization, warfare, terrorism and myth. It’s a great story.
Kublai Khan was a grandson of Genghis Khan. This June was the 68th anniversary and 70th anniversaries of the battles of D-Day and Midway. Until D-Day the attempted invasion of Japan by Kublai Khan in 1281 was the largest naval invasion in world history. The first invasion in 1274 was foiled by a typhoon, so a larger force was assembled in 1281. Again a typhoon destroyed the Mongolian force. The typhoon became known as kamikaze in Japan- a divine wind. The usage of the term kamikaze reappeared around the time of Japan’s defeat at the pivotal battle of Midway, this time describing Japanese suicide pilots who dive bombed U.S. naval ships in planes loaded with explosives. There are probably few if any Brooklyn or Prospect Heights veterans still alive from either of these two decisive battles. Do you know any that should be celebrated?
Do you know any Prospect Heights vets returning soon from Afghanistan that you care to post?
LEGAL NOTES: VETERANS
Our service men and women serving in Afghanistan will soon be returning home. NYC’s Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs (@nyc.gov) has a list of some resources for these and other veterans. It includes job openings and links to counseling, legal clinics, information on benefits, home repairs, and the like. They also need volunteers.
I volunteer with the Association of the Bar’s City Bar Justice Center Veterans Assistance Project where all attorneys are VA accredited and assist with VA disability compensation and pension claims. Melissa Stanger is the Coordinator for the Project if you contact them at 212 382 6600. The American Bar Association also has a volunteer Military Pro Bono project for assisting veterans. It can be accessed through ABA Home Front at the americanbar.org website. The website also is a resource for information for veterans and their families. Legal
services through both of these organizations are limited to veterans and their
families that could not otherwise afford counsel. For legal services that are
not related to military service (e.g., divorce, child support, etc.) other
local Brooklyn legal service organizations can provide assistance.