Friday, September 1, 2017

All the way home

Summertime is nearing its end. Cooler temperatures, shorter days, longer nights are arriving. It's time to say goodbye to our recent relaxed routines of these summer months and return to some structure, schedules. A time of transition.

Back to school. Back to work. Back to just about everything.
And, of course, back to bedtimes...and likely, earlier ones. Perhaps for all of us.

So...here's a beautiful book for an upcoming bedtime read - The Way Home in the Night, written and illustrated by Akiko Miyakoshi, and published by Kids Can Press. 






In this story, a little bunny is being carried by its mother through the lamplit streets of their city neighbourhood. Much is happening along the way and is keenly yet sleepily noticed by the young one.

This book considers all of the senses – the sight of lights in windows, goings-on in shops and homes such as tidying up and goodbyes; the sounds of a ringing phone, a joyful party with friends; the scent of pie baking in an oven with an anticipation of its taste; the warm touch of being held by a parent. In turn, the story offers a gentle and cozy read to be shared before sleep. Yes, it's always good to be home.

And those animals, at home, at work. Outside, inside. Big ones, little ones, and those in-between. Rabbits, goats, deer, sheep, bears, mice. All accepting and welcoming of one another. Coexisting harmoniously. A peaceable kingdom.




This is a story full of wondering, questioning:

“Are the party guests saying goodnight?”

“Is the person on the phone getting ready for bed?”

“Maybe the cook from the restaurant is taking a bath, and the bookseller is reading on the couch.”

“Is the pie ready to be shared?”

"Have all the lights been turned off for the night?"



Children do wonder, ponder, reflect upon the day's events in these quiet times. Don't we all. Curiosity continues as eyelids flutter. Drifting off, wakefulness gives over to sleep while the day's moments slowly fade. 




There is luminosity and tenderness in this book's simplicity of words and the detailed yet soft-edged illustrations rendered in charcoal, pencil and warm, glowing pastels. Akiko's lovely writing and art style is found, as well, in her previous books, The Tea Party in the Woods and The Storm. And such a variety of pies at that tea party!



Although the pie in The Way Home in the Night seems to be savoury, I decided to opt for a sweet version. Rhubarb Galette. Time to bid farewell to one of my favourite fillings of the season and the last of the rhubarb from our garden (which was relocated from my parent's once upon a time backyard). Rhubarb was always my preferred pie and my mother made a gorgeous one topped with a crumbly mixture of butter, flour, sugar and cinnamon - so good. 



Rhubarb Galette
Inspiration:  Bon Appetit Magazine 

Makes 1 pie

Pastry Dough: 

Use your favourite or try this one...

1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted butter
2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 g) sugar
2 tsp (10 g) salt
1/2 cup (118 ml) ice water

Combine the butter and dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is coarse. Add water slowly until the dough begins to form a ball. This should take about a minute or so. Remove dough from bowl and knead a couple of times on a cool, flour-covered surface. Form into two discs. Refrigerate one cellophane wrapped round for 30 minutes. Place the other disc in the freezer for another time. It should keep in the freezer for about one month.

Filling:

1 pound (454 grams) 1-inch (2.5 cm) sliced rhubarb
Juice of half a small lemon + juice of half of a small orange
3/4 cup granulated (150 grams)
1/3 cup (42 g) all-purpose flour
a pinch each of salt, ground cinnamon, grated nutmeg
grated zest of lemon and orange, to taste

Mix together in a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.



In the meantime, remove pie dough from fridge. Sprinkle flour on parchment paper and roll out dough to a 12 inch (30 cm) round. Place on baking sheet. Mound rhubarb mixture onto disc leaving a 2 inch fringe.

Topping:

2 tbsp butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
granulated sugar

Dot mixture with cubed butter. Fold edges of dough over mixture. Brush egg mixture on edge of the crust. Sprinkle granulated sugar on moistened pie dough edge.

Bake galette in preheated 375°F (190°C) for approximately 50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust is golden brown.

Serve with gently whipped cream, crème fraîche, vanilla bean ice cream or enjoy on its own.



Mmm... It smells like pie. Ready to be shared.

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