With all this unemployed time on my hands I’ve been thinking a lot about what the blog means to me. You know, where it’s headed. When I first started eathalifax, I simply wanted to share my thoughts on good places to eat in the city. Hell, I even went with the most obvious of names. Nothing even remotely personal. I posted infrequently in my time ‘off’ from planting, sometimes even posting a recipe here and there. At the time, I actually had no idea what a blog was. I certainly didn’t follow any.
Now blogs are prolific, front and central in the world wide food scene. Whatever inspiration you’re looking for – baking, paleo, raw – you can most certainly find it. I am constantly in awe of so many blogs that some days I feel almost defeated. I’m not sure when this became some competition in my head but I’ve suddenly become my own worst critic, judging dinner like it was goddamn episode of Chopped Canada.
Somewhere along the way, I lost sight of it all. It isn’t about the money or the fame. It’s not a perfectly styled photograph nor a dish with a long list of exotic ingredients. There’s no photography studio behind the scenes. There generally not even a tripod. Even after the blog redesign and hours spent defining the site, I still had it wrong.
What I failed to realize was that behind every review, every recipe, is simply me in my kitchen. This is my journal, my story. A story that starts in the woods of Northern Ontario. A story that takes me to Halifax where I jump head first into the burgeoning food scene. A story that increasingly connects me to my food with every day that passes. A story that I, for whatever reason, feel compelled to share.
It’s a narrative of a return to real food, scratch cooking, and a fearlessness in the kitchen where bread is made with your hands and food comes from the land. It may not be the best story, but it’s mine.
Today’s main character: strawberry rhubarb spelt bars. A good dose of sugar and butter balanced with the whole grain sensibility of spelt. It was also the most perfect way to use up a jar of last season’s strawberry jam and some frozen rhubarb from last Spring. A wonderful balance of tart and sweet, these were exactly what I needed to propel myself back into the blog. Just simple, real and and delicious. That’s what this story’s all about isn’t it?
- 2 cups spelt flour
- 1 cup spelt flakes
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- pinch salt
- 2 cups chopped rhubarb
- 1 1/2 cup homemade strawberry jam
- Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 8" square baking pan.
- In a large bowl, mix together spelt, butter, vanilla, and sugar until crumbly. Alternatively, throw it all in the food pro and pulse til combined. Pour half the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing it to form a crust.
- Combine the jam and rhubarb. Spread over the crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumb on top.
- Bake about 45 - 50 min until golden brown. Let cool before slicing.
- I actually used frozen rhubarb with these bars and it worked beautifully. My jam was on the thick side so it balanced any water that the rhubarb released.