Sunday, June 28, 2015

Granny's Gooseberries

I spent a lot of time with my Great Grandma Huffman growing up.  So many good memories of time at her house, playing dominoes, watching her make cinnamon rolls, driving to find wild plums, helping her wash dishes, sweeping the floor of her salebarn cafe, or hearing her playing hymns on the piano and singing along.

My Granny had a decent size gooseberry patch at her house so picking gooseberries with her is also on of those memories.  Gooseberries are one an old fashioned plant, one not very many people may have even heard of.  They are sour as all get out, especially when very small but sweeten a bit as they ripen.  My Granny usually put hers in pie but you can eat them as is if you want.

I have dreamed for years of having a gooseberry patch. When we moved in a few years ago, I reserved a side portion of our yard for a berry patch and put in two gooseberries.  (We have some raspberries and blackberries too.)  Last year, we had just a few berries.  But this year, we have lots.  Probably 2 gallon pails full.  Enough to actually make something.  So this weekend, I channeled Granny and did just that.
Tart greeny goodness that mellow to a rosy purple color

There aren't a lot of recipes out there for gooseberries.  Trust me, I looked.  I am not the world's best pie maker plus I didn't want to spend time rolling out pie crust so I decided to use a rhubarb recipe and substitute gooseberries for the rhubarb.  I had made these Rhubarb Dream Bars another time upon the suggestion of my Aunt Sheree who had made them and said they were delicious and easy.  (She was correct.)  So Rhubarb Dream Bars became Gooseberry Dream Bars.   I may have already had four helpings.  I also may have underbaked them yesterday and found a slightly soggy undercooked bar at lunchtime when I went to serve them.  I ended up having to pop them back into the oven but they still turned out despite my mistake.  A slightly flaky, sugar cookie type crust meets a yummy sweet custard and sour, make your tongue tingle berries.  Thankful for a granny who introduced me to gooseberries.

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