There’s a crispness to the air, a welcome relief to the humidity and heat of our 2018 Cape Cod summer! This past Saturday, our entire community joined in a “beehive” of activity as we
tackled a daunting list of tasks and projects, left in the wake of a busy summer. Digging out attic spaces, weeding gardens, scrubbing the bell tower floor, getting the barn clean and ready to house animals for winter, and cooking meals ahead for an upcoming choir recording were some of the projects accomplished last weekend. But it was also the beginning of harvest time. We culled apples and pears and gratefully recognized what a bountiful harvest it was going to be. The Sisterhood celebrated with brunch on Sunday. And since I was “in the mood,” I whipped up some ingredient-packed muffins that had all the essence of Fall – complete with cinnamon!
The view from this convent window encompasses the convent orchard, the cutting garden and some of the Community vineyards.
At the end of each row of grapevines stands a robust clump of rhubarb which has just reached its peak… a rich and beautiful sight to behold! Sisters were out picking it this morning and now it is being prepared for the Oblate retreat dinner dessert.
When our “Oblate family” members return for retreats we always try to “welcome them home” with their favorite foods. This golden buttery crusted dessert has been one of their favorites for years, and since their spring retreat is always at this same time each year when rhubarb is at its prime they always look forward to having it.
The vibrant combination of rhubarb, fresh oranges and coconut produces one of those desserts that keeps tempting the eater to have just a little bit more. This is a mouthwatering flavor that makes no apology for being old fashioned – because it’s old fashioned goodness at its very best!
I love to be surprised by another new artistically crafted dessert that is original and breathtakingly beautiful. Some are so absolutely stunning and unusual that they really amount to works of art and one almost hates to destroy their beauty by eating them.
However I am equally as thrilled when someone digs into the old worn recipe box and comes up with an old-time favorite that is not necessarily glamorous or stellar in its presentation, but rather heartwarming in the way it satisfies one’s palette and leaves the eater feeling “cozy” and comforted.
That is why I was so pleased to learn that one of my oldest and most favorite dessert recipes was being revived and used for this coming week’s activity. It is a perfect accompaniment for the meal that is not elegant as much as wholesome and hearty. I know that the men are going to enjoy it as you will when you try it, and what a perfect time to make it while the rhubarb patch is at it’s peak.
Fresh Orange Rhubarb Betty