What do I even say, after an absence of two years, that doesn’t sound completely trite?
Steven and I got married last year, and we added a sweet little furbaby, Olive, to our family. The three of us spend a lot of time doing things that are surely, from the outside in, quite unremarkable. But, you know, they’re great in their own way.
We have a rhythm for chores. I’ve figured out, sorta at least, meal planning. Steven does all the laundry, and little Olive cleans the floors and barks at the birds and bunnies in the backyard.
Working from home has been a dream come true, especially after realizing how unfulfilled I was at my old job. After living here for three years, I finally got inspired enough to paint the walls. I’m finally getting more confident in experimenting with colors I’d previously feared.
We built a raised flower bed under the bay window, and, with aching backs, filled it with an unplanned assortment of rhododendrons, peonies, lilies, roses, and lisianthus in shades of pinks and whites. I’m not convinced the planting looks particularly polished to anyone but us, but I’m eager to cut flowers from it when everything comes back into bloom(fingers crossed), regardless. At least the hours of work, 10+ trips to Lowe’s, and wise advice from my dad and his friends resulted in a cement-block wall that’s impressively straight. We did something right.
In short, I don’t have much of a reason for being away as long as I have.
But I’ve missed it.
So, let’s get back into it, shall we?
- 4 Tbsp butter, melted
- ¼ c sugar
- ¼ c chopped pistachios
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ c flour
- ¾ c sugar
- 1 pound rhubarb, sliced about ¼" thick on a very sharp diagonal
- 12 Tbsp softened butter, divided
- 1 c sugar, divided
- zest from one orange
- 1½ c flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 c sour cream
- Stir together the butter, sugar, chopped pistachios, and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour until dry and crumbly. Set aside.
- Combine the rhubarb and ¾ cup of sugar in a bowl and toss to combine. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Oil the bottom and sides of a 9" cake pan, then line the bottom with parchment. Spread 4 tablespoons of butter evenly in the bottom, on top of the parchment. Set aside.
- Put the 1 cup of sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer with the zest from the orange. Press the zest into the sugar with your fingers until it's fragrant and has the appearance of wet sand. Add the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter and beat for 10 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally.
- While you cream the butter and sugar, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape down the bowl and add the vanilla.
- Add half of the dry ingredients and stir briefly to combine. Scrape down the sides and add half of the sour cream, scrape down the bowl and repeat.
- Arrange the the rhubarb in the pan in concentric circles, overlapping each slice and working from the outside in.
- Gently add the batter over the top, and sprinkle the pistachio crumb over.
- Bake about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached.
- Allow to cool in pan for 3-5 minutes, then carefully invert on a rack to continue cooling. If any rhubarb sticks, just [carefully] remove it from the pan and press into place.