Sunday, 28 June 2009

With Kafka in the Kitchen

One week until my summer holidays! :) My mind is already starting to tune into holiday mood. I am thinking of what to cook and what to read during my weeks off from work. Most of my summer vacation will also be a break from dance practise, but I'm looking forward to as much tennis as I can cram into those weeks. :) And I will be going to Slovenia for a week in July. That is something I am really, really looking forward to! I'm also planning on more posts on Cinnamonda and on my brand new book blog A Book Blog of One's Own. If you want to learn a bit more about me, take a look at the first post on the book blog, and I hope to see you all visiting there too in the future. :)

Books and food do go perfectly together, don't you think? And some authors have nicely combined the two in their work. I am at the moment reading a fun little book by Mark Crick called Kafka's Soup - A Complete History of World Literarure in 14 Recipes. It is a collection of recipes and little stories that include the method of cooking the recipe. Each story is written in the style of a different writer. There is, for example, a story in the style of Marcel Proust about making tiramisu and another in the style of Franz Kafka about cooking miso soup. Other writers whose style Crick is imitating in the book are Raymond Chandler (a priceless account of cooking lamb in dill sauce, maybe the best story in the book), Jane Austen, Irvine Welsh, Gabriel García Márquez, John Steinbeck, marquis de Sade, Virginia Woolf, Homer (Achilles cooking rabbit and vegetables!), Graham Greene, Jorge Luis Borges, Harold Pinter, and Geoffrey Chaucer. This really is a little gem of a book! I highly recommend you to read it. And maybe even cook from it!

My recipe today is, however, written totally in the style of Cinnamonda. :) It is the rhubarb season now, and I had been waiting the whole week to have time for baking a rhubarb pie. I had also been looking for a nice recipe for the pie. Rhubarb pie is something very common in Finland during the summer, but it seems not one of my cook books have a recipe for the kind of pie I was imagining in baking. I knew what the pie I was hoping to bake should look like, but as I was not quite sure of the ingredients, I wanted to find a tested recipe and not experiment on my own. I found some recipes on the net, but they were not quite what I was looking for. Then I thought that maybe my Grandmother's old cook book from the thirties would include a traditional rhubarb pie recipe. Strangely enough it did not, but a small piece of paper fell from in between the brittle pages of the old book while I was carefully browsing it. I took the paper slip into my hand and turned it over to see what it was. A rhubarb pie recipe! It was clearly written with a computer and then printed out, so I guessed it was not something my Grandmother had used, but rather a recipe my Dad (who had the book before he gave it to me last year) had either written down himself or more probably been given by a friend sometime. And as I looked at the recipe I knew immediately it was exactly the one I had been looking for! It was the simple, traditional recipe for rhubarb pie, and I am glad to share it here with you.
Rhubarb pie

4 dl wheat flour
2 dl sugar
2 dl melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanillin sugar
1 dl water (or milk)
4 rhubarb stalks cut into 2 cm pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 Centigrade.
2. Mix sugar and flour.
3. Add melted butter and mix until crumbs are formed.
4. Set 2 dl crumbs aside for the topping.
5. Add egg, baking powder, vanillin sugar and water and mix until smooth.
6. Pour the batter into a round pie tin.
7. Put the rhubarb pieces on top. Then add the crumbs you set aside earlier.
8. Shift 1 teaspoon cinnamon on top of it all.
9. Bake in 200 C for about half an hour or until a tooth pick (or in my case a knitting needle! :)) inserted into the pie comes out clean.
10. Enjoy, preferably warm with some vanilla ice cream or vanilla sauce.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Mmmhhh, that looks so good! I'm a big fan of rhubarb!



5 Star Foodie said...

One week till my vacation too! The rhubarb pie looks absolutely delicious! Yum!

maybelle's mom said...

I do love rhubarb so. WOnderful. And, I will definitely look up that book.

liisamarja said...

i'm so jealous of you going to slovenia, it's absolutely my favourite destination. i've been to bohinj twice in winter, once in summer, superb! bled and ljubljana are also great. this is getting too weird, i just got the "kotiruoka" cookbook from my mother. it used to belong to my paternal great-grandmother, who passed away when i was 5, but i still remember her cooking and baking, she always had treats for us kids. have a nice vacation in slovenia!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Have a great weekend!



anya said...

Tiina, this rhubarb-pie story of yours reminds me once again that those who search will alwayd find! The most important thing is to know what you are after, which is sometimes far from simple. :)

Slovenia then...And when is Amsterdam in your agenda? :)

P.S. I heard too that 'Eat.Pray.Love' will be screened. Not sure, however, if the film will ever beat the book. What do you think? Plus, the image of Elizabeth Gilbert as a heroine of the whole story is so deeply rooted in my mind that I fear I'd have hard time when seeing Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert. Somewhat confusing, it might be for me. ;)

Tiina said...

Thanks, Rosa! It did taste really good.

Thanks, 5 Star Foodie & have a nice vacation!

I love rhubarb, too, Maybelle's mom. Let me know that you thought of the book after you've read it. Crick has also written a DIY-book called "Sartre's Sink"!

Hei Liisamarja! Slovenia is a beautiful country. I was in Ljubljana last november (there's some photos I took there on my blog, you'll find the post through labels, if you want to take a look at them) & am now going back & also to Portoroz. Quite a coincidence with you, too, getting "Kotiruoka" :), but I quess, it may well be the most popular Finnish cookbook in history.

Yes, Anya! :)I'm not sure what to think of the "Eat,Pray, Love" -movie, yet. Somehow it's a bit strange thinking of Julia Roberts portraying E. Gilbert. And Amsterdam :), well not this summer, but maybe in late October or November, if I am able to save some extra money for a short trip. So, I just might take you up on that offer of a plate of Russian borscht! :)


LoveFeast Table said...

I wish I could have a bit of that with some afternoon tea....Looks great!

Tiina said...

Hello, LoveFeast Table! Thanks for stopping by & commenting! Yes, a nice cup of tea would be the perfect companion to this pie. :)